July 19, 2012

Crispy Prosciutto Salad

Beast, a low-lit corner restaurant in Brooklyn, serves up out-of-this-world dishes like fried manchego cheese bites with lemon and caramelized onion and fig pesto tarts.  Their boston salad with crispy prosciutto gave me months of prosciutto daydreams until I just had to try crisping up that salty meat in my own kitchen.  Fried, it becomes partly crackly, partly chewy and intensely salty making it perfect for tossing with a mild salad and some sharp cheese.  While photographing the dish out on the porch, we were cornered by a massive flying insect which I won’t describe any further for fear of ruining your appetite, but the little bastard headed straight for my salad!  I picked off the part he landed on and ate the rest.  I was worried I might suffer a fate similar to Jeff Goldblum’s in The Fly (1986) but so far, I’m still completely human and that Crispy Prosciutto Salad was worth the risk.  Also try my Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken and Poached Egg with Crispy Prosciutto.

Makes 1 serving

2 slices prosciutto
1 large handful arugula
4-5 thin slices Parmesan or Manchego cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of coarse salt
5 turns of freshly cracked black pepper

Add shallots, vinegar, salt and pepper to a small mixing bowl, whisk and let sit.  Heat olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.  Place the prosciutto in the hot oil and cook on each side for about 20-30 seconds depending on its thickness, pressing down any bubbles.  Reserve the olive oil and transfer the prosciutto to paper towels, patting it dry and then chopping it roughly.  Add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil from the pan into the vinegar/shallot mixture and whisk until well combined.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the arugula, cheese, prosciutto and dressing together until well coated, then serve immediately.

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