During the holidays, it seems I just go from one rich, multi-course family meal to another, so the day after Thanksgiving, I wanted a light but satisfying lunch that would impress even the harshest of family critics.
This salad was just the thing. The pears, grapes and dried cherries added a natural sweetness to the salad that contrasted well with the aged balsamic vinegar and pecorino cheese. The pine nuts added a buttery flavor, and the prosciutto a crispy texture. To make this for your family — mine went nuts over it! —
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 ounces 1/8-inch-thick slices prosciutto, chopped
1 1/2 cups stemmed seedless red grapes
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
10 cups (loosely packed) greens, such as frisée, arugula, and torn radicchio
2 Bosc pears, cored; 1 cut into matchstick-size pieces, 1 thinly sliced
Aged balsamic vinegar (for drizzling)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces 1/8-inch-thick rectangular slices Pecorino Romano cheese, each slice cut on diagonal into triangles
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Whisk 1/2 cup oil and lemon juice in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto to skillet and sauté until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer crisp prosciutto to paper towels to drain.
- Toss grapes with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until grapes begin to shrivel, about 15 minutes. Cool grapes on baking sheet.
- Place cherries in small bowl. Add enough hot water to cover cherries by 1 inch. Let cherries soak in bowl 15 minutes to soften. Drain.*
- Mix greens, matchstick-sized pear pieces, dressing, 2/3 of prosciutto, grapes, and cherries in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates.
- Garnish with pear slices, drizzle with vinegar, and sprinkle with pine nuts and remaining prosciutto. Garnish with cheese.
*Dressing, prosciutto, grapes, and cherries can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
- Meats, Salads