I’m a salad kind of girl. Though I rarely post salad recipes, I actually eat quite a bit of salad, particularly in the summer. I don’t eat salad and call it dinner (I’m not that kind of salad girl), but I do eat salad for lunch and consider it a complete meal. I like my salad, often, with a side of bread. I suppose that sort of defeats the purpose of salad for some people, but I happen to disagree.
The one thing I’ll admit to is that I’m not usually very creative about salad dressing. If I’m being honest, I tend to dress my salad with one of three ingredients (or a combination of the three): good olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. I usually don’t get fancy with buttermilk or tahini or crème fraîche because, truth be told, my salads are usually a one person meal. And when I’m ‘cooking’ for myself, I tend to eat rather simply. I don’t cut my vegetables evenly, I don’t measure out my salt (so sometimes, I over-salt), I often eat out of a plastic mixing bowl because I prefer not to use two bowls. The days I work from home, I scarf down my salad at the dining room table, accompanied by my laptop and water bottle. I’ll often rip my salad leaves into pieces that are entirely too large, meaning that I inhale them like noodles, slurping and making a mess around me. Matt, the nanny, and the baby are usually out, so I don’t really care.
At work, I pile my salad high with tons of veggies, nuts, berries, grains, and protein (grilled chicken or tofu). I know there are those of you out there who believe that salad is a side, and I’m totally ok with that. This salad recipe is one I’ve been making obsessively since I spotted it in Nigel Slater’s Ripe. Cherry season is in full peak, and this combination is a stunner. Sweet cherries play with salty prosciutto and a creamy, tongue-tickling mustard dressing. Eat is as your main meal (with some crusty bread, cheese, and olives), or stick it on the side; it pairs well with pork, beef, and chicken. Drizzle the dressing with a light hand, and add more as needed, at the table. Kaboom, salad!
Cherry and Prosciutto Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing
adapted from Nigel Slater’s Ripe
*serves two to three as a side, or two as a light lunch
For the salad:
4 large handfuls of salad greens
12-16 cherries, pitted and halved
3 1/2 ounces of prosciutto or thinly sliced cured coppa, ham, or speck
For the dressing:
1/2 -1 teaspoon of mustard
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
salt & freshly ground pepper
1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and beat gently with a whisk or fork (until just combined and creamy; don’t overwhisk as you don’t want to end up with whipped cream).
2. Toss the salad leaves with the prosciutto in a large bowl. Sprinkle cherries on top; drizzle dressing over salad and serve.
Musical Pairings: Case Studies – This Is Another Life + Cherry and Prosciutto Salad with Creamy Mustard Dressing
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