Diners’ response to the restaurant’s prosciutto-wrapped figs with Jarlsberg cheese has been great. “People love the sweetness of the fig with the earthiness of the prociutto. Then they get the creaminess of the cheese. This complements the crunchy texture of the apples and the walnuts,” said Lewandowski, who created the recipe. “I use Jarlsberg because it does have a great texture and the flavor adds a little pungentness to the dish with all the sweet flavors. We also use the cheese in our French Onion soup.”
Lewandowski has worked in the kitchen of the popular New York restaurant for 5 years, and has served as executive chef since 2003. His love of cooking began at age 12 when he prepared Sunday dinners with his father. He worked for a catering company throughout high school and entered the Culinary Institute of America on his 21st birthday. After graduating, he bacame a sous chef at Manhattan’s Abbey restaurant and then polished his craft at Gotham Bar & Grill and Fantino at the Ritz Carlton.
He participates in charity events such as AIWF's Days of Taste, a program that teaches fourth and fifth-graders how food wends its way from farm to table.
Tribeca Grill is co-owned by renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent and actor Robert De Niro. It opened to much acclaim in 1990 and was instrumental in helping put the Tribeca neighborhood on the map. Its all-star roster of investors includes such luminaries as Bill Murray, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Lou Diamond Philips, Russell Simmons, Peter Max, Christopher Walken and Harvey & Bob Weinstein of Miramax Films.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Jarlsberg Cheese,
Caramelized Apple & Walnut Salad:
6 black mission figs
12 slices of Jarlsberg cheese
12 sprigs of mint
12 thin slices of prosciutto
12 toothpicks (optional)
4 ounces of watercress, baby cress, or mixed greens
4 tablespoons small Red Delicious apples, sautéed w/ sugar & butter
12 spicy walnuts (recipe below)
4 teaspoons chopped chives
4 teaspoons fig balsamico
4 dried apple slices (optional garnish)
2 ounces walnut dressing (recipe below)
12 teaspoons butter
1. Slice figs into halves and stuff each with a slice of cheese and a sprig of mint. On a hot griddle, add half a teaspoon of butter. Add the figs and let brown about a minute on each side, until golden-brown and the cheese is melted. Wrap each with a slice of prosciutto and stick a toothpick through, if desired.
2. Combine the watercress and walnuts, then toss with walnut dressing. Meanwhile, warm up the sautéed apples and add to the salad.
3. Put the salad on four plates, top each serving with 3 figs, then drizzle with fig balsamico and chopped chives. (Serves 4)
1 lb walnuts
1 cup molasses
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 pinch of cumin
1 pinch of ground black pepper
Blanch nuts in boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and dry out nuts in low oven for half an hour. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients and toss nuts in it to evenly coat walnuts. Lay walnuts back out on a sheet pan and dry out in oven for half an hour.
(makes about 4 cups)
1 cup walnut oil
¼ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 pinch of cumin
½ tablespoon soy sauce
½ tablespoon fine herbes
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients except for oil, then slowly whisk in oil.
(makes 1 ½ cup)
375 Greenwich St.
at the corner of
New York, NY 10013