Prosciutto Artichoke Salad
Simple, Quick - A Classy Salad
We are looking to compose a salad in no time at all, but a salad that is, at the same time, something special. This is how. In pictures.
We are doing this partly just because in general a salad just tastes so good, this one in particular. We are doing this partly because a salad is such a healthy meal. Nutritionists more and more recommend salads as main courses in place of the heavy things we so often consume. It may be having an effect, these recommendations, because I read recently that the bowl is more and more replacing the plate at mealtime. And we are doing this partly because a salad offers so many options for variation, interesting, tasty variation that excites our appetite.
And if we can make it in only a few minutes, then we really have something.
Begin at the beginning -- some mixed baby lettuces and half a tomato, grilled if possible (say, it was leftover from last night's meal). (For grilled tomatoes, click here.)
Obviously you can use many other lettuces here just as well. Romaine has a lot of crunch and flavor, butter letttuce has a classic taste, red leaf lettuce not only looks great but tastes great. Of these, actually, I would recommend butter lettuce because although it is one of our oldest and most delicious lettuces it is surprisingly hard to find -- ergo, if you can in fact find, use it here.
Find an attractive bowl and plop all into it. We've begun at the beginning. We don't have far to go.
If last night's leftovers include a half of a grilled artichoke, add that.
If you don't have one of these handy, open a bottle of marinated artichoke hearts and add some of those.
Artichokes go especially well with prosciutto. Both are quintessentially Italian.
For grilling artichokes, click here.
Add two or three slices of prosciutto, depending on how hungry you are at the moment.
Here we have three, because of hunger.
Slices of prosciutto are very thin, of course. That makes them, among other things, especially suitable for a salad. They are, in fact, rather like the leaves of lettuce which they adorn in this salad -- thin, tasty, not green (but then not all lettuce is green, either).
Slices of prosciutto have a pleasantly salty taste that complements the fresh, crisp taste of the lettuce particularly well. That's what we want complements (as well as compliments).
Dress the salad
The dressing here is composed of grated Romano Cheese, EVOO, and red wine vinegar.
It's perfect for this salad, but simple EVOO and fresh-squeezed lemon juice would be great also.
Come to think of it, EVOO and balsamico would be delightful as well.
Click here for EVOO.
In the bowl
The Romano cheese is finely grated.
When grated like that, it serves as a thickening agent, so whisk it in well.
Of course we can use Parmesan instead, and indeed it is often easier to find in a grated form of Parmesan than it is to find a grated form of Romano. The Romano is a bit more unusual than the Parmesan, however, so that is why we are using it here.
Add some capers, they are always good. They fit in with the Mediterranean theme here, too.
Don't forget seasoning: coarse black pepper sea salt. Even the greatest chefs bow before the simple alter of these seasonings.
This salad is as promised: simple, quick and delicious.
A bigger picture
Prosciutto is often eaten in Europe wrapped around breadsticks. I think it works better in a salad. An especially delicious way to use prosciutto is with pasta, especially linguini. Garlic, EVOO, prosciutto -- a forthcoming hub. Terrific as a pizza topping. True prosciutto contains neither nitrates or nitrites.
Real Meal. Unlike fancy food mags, where images are hyped and food itself is secondary, all pix shown here are from a real meal, prepared and eaten by me and my friends. No throwing anything away till perfection is achieved. This is the real deal --- a Real Meal.