It’s not that I haven’t been cooking much this summer. It’s just that I haven’t been cooking anything creative. It’s hot, I’m busy, and I’ve been relying on chicken and grilled vegetables, my handy Trader Joe’s canned food for all sorts of cold pasta salads, and lots of fresh fruit—plums for 49¢ a pound just make me happy. But the other Sunday I was invited to a barbecue by my friends Vickie and Carlos, and I realized that I missed playing around in the kitchen.
I pulled out the salad recipes that had been piling up in my kitchen notebook, and I chose two. Of them, the “wow” recipe of the pair seems as if it would have been the watermelon and arugula salad with caramelized macadamia nuts, gorgonzola, and a raspberry vinaigrette. Instead, it was the underdog (chosen because I love prosciutto and had just seen pomegranate seeds at the grocery store), which turned out to be one of the best salads I’ve ever had. I snuck the leftovers home with me and ate them every day for three days until there was nothing but a few dribbles of dressing left in the Tupperware container.
Mediterranean Salad with Prosciutto and Pomegranate
from Bon Appetit, November 2008
Serves 4-6 (perfect for a light lunch or dinner with soup or bread)
- 2 cups very thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 6 cups arugula (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 3-ounce packages thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into strips
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1) Toss fennel and 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
2) Combine arugula, green onions, mint, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in large bowl; toss. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Divide greens among plates. Top with fennel, then drape with prosciutto. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top.
Note on amounts and mixing:
- I was pretty loose on measuring ingredients, and it just didn’t matter, as long as you don’t go overboard on anything.
- I just mixed everything all together in a big bowl. No need to take the time to divide ingredients on separate plates unless you feel like being arty.