A few weekends ago, my husband and I went to lunch on a Saturday afternoon with some good friends. Before diving into our giant (and delicious) burgers, we decided we’d split a salad – you know, throw our bodies a bone with a few vegetables before stuffing ourselves silly with mountains of ground beef, cheese, and other not-so-healthy deliciousness (washed down with an afternoon cocktail, of course). Turns out it was the best salad we’d both had in a long time – so, I had no choice but to recreate it at home!
Baby Arugula Salad with Prosciutto, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Pickled Red Onion
For the salad:
4 oz baby arugula
1 oz soft goat cheese
1/2 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
3 slices of prosciutto, cut into thin ribbons
pickled red onions (recipe below)
3 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper
For the onions:
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4″ half moons
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1.) To make your pickled onions, start by boiling water in a small saucepan. Once the water is boiling, add the onions and allow them to cook for one minute. Drain them using a colander, and then add them back to the pot.
2.) Add the sugar, salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, and apple cider vinegar to the pot, and then add enough cold water to just cover the onions. Bring the mixture to a boil; allow it to boil for one minute, then turn off the heat. Allow the onions and brine to cool for a few minutes, and then pour everything into a glass jar. Refrigerate the jar, and the onions will keep for a few weeks.
3.) For the salad, first make your dressing. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Toss the arugula in the dressing to evenly coat it, and place a pile on each plate.
4.) Top each salad with half the tomatoes, half the goat cheese (crumbled), half the prosciutto, and a small pile of pickled onions. Serve immediately.
This salad is light, refreshing, and perfect for summer. The fresh and sweet tomatoes are perfectly balanced by the slight richness and salt of the prosciutto, and the creaminess of the goat cheese. The vinegary pickled onions add a wonderful brightness; I think I’ll be using the leftover pickled onions on everything I can find for a while!
This one will be gracing our table a LOT this summer,