Friday, June 12, 2009

Summertime Means Salad Time

Well for most places in the world. In the Soviet Oslo, the selection of produce doesn't change too much. Just because I can't fully enjoy the summer bounty like the rest of the civilized world doesn't mean that I'm not going to try. I've made several salads this spring and all have come out really tasty. I like to mix a lot of colors, textures, and flavors in a bowl and dress it simply with a homemade vinaigrette.

A couple of nights ago, I made a salad with strawberries, caramlized prosciutto and almonds in a balsamic vinaigrette. I had intended to make the roasted fennel and caramelized prosciutto salad I made a few weeks ago but all of the fennel I found in the three different stores I tried were mummified beyond recognition. At the last store, I realized we had a few strawberries in the fridge that were going to be past their prime in a few days so what better way to use them up? The result was a sweet, tangy, and salty salad that had a lot of texture. Since it's summertime for the rest of you in the world, go out there and make your own crazy salad combinations. Do it for me.

Strawberry and Caramelized Prosciutto Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2

1 bag of your favorite prewashed salad mix OR 6 cups of washed, trimmed salad greens
5 slices of prosciutto
6 strawberries, sliced
2 tbs sliced almonds or toasted pine nuts
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, 190 degrees C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lay the slices of prosciutto flat onto the prepared baking sheet taking care not to let them overlap. Evenly distribute the brown sugar over the prosciutto slices. I like to just use my hands and sprinkle the sugar over the meat slices. Place the baking sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the brown sugar is melted and bubling and the prosciutto looks crisp and slightly shrunken. Take care not to let it burn as the sugar burns very easily.

While the prosciutto is baking, add the salad greens, strawberry slices, nuts, and red onion slices to a salad bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, salt, pepper and honey in a bowl. Whisk until well combined and the salt is dissolved. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a steady stream while whisking the dressing. Whisk the dressing until it is emulsified and thickened. Set aside.

When the prosciutto is done, take the tray out of the oven and let the prosciutto cool. It is ready when the sugar has hardenened and the prosciutto is cool enough to handle. Crumble the prosciutto slices into the salad bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, that sounds like HEAVEN. You had me at 'balsamic'... ;-)

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  2. Welcome to the blog! balsamic + strawberries is a tasty little combination. i hope you try the salad!

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