Fall Fruit and Prosciutto Salad with Aged Balsamic

salad

Last week I ventured down to LA for a textile show and found some unexpected inspiration at the prettiest darn restaurant. Was I shopping for apron fabric or was it just an excuse to go to Bottega Louie?  Yes. 😉  My meal was so tasty that I decided to adapt it, adding my own twist with more emphasis on fall showstoppers. This philosophy layers incredible flavors in the easiest way, so give it a chance and try not to substitute.

farmers market

Persimmons at the famers market, photo by Evan Janke.

I think the most surprising thing about this salad is the Fuyu persimmon; they’re sweet and floral with a great crunch.  If you don’t have aged balsamic (the ones from The Rare Wine Co. are incredible), my friend and chef, Maili, taught me a less expensive way to make it at home: simply reduce regular store-bought balsamic vinegar on the stove until thick and syrup-like.  When dressing this salad, drizzle just about 1/2 teaspoon of the balsamic over the ingredients — don’t get carried away.

salad ingredients

Fall Fruit and Prosciutto Salad with Aged Balsamic 

Serves 4, as a starter or a killer lunch

 

8 slices of procuitto

8 figs, Black Mission or green, sliced in half

1 Pink Lady or Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 Fuyu persimmon, stem trimmed off and cut into large bite-sized chunks

20 raw almonds, toasted and cut in half

Arugula leaves

Black peppercorns, crushed

Sea salt

2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar or reduced balsamic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

fall salad

 

Portion 2 large slices of prosciutto on each plate.  Trim the slices of excess fat and slice in 3″ x 3″ squares.   Gently fold each of these pieces in half and then in half again; you should get about 6 folded pieces for each plate. Stack the slices as tall as you can on the center of the plate.

 

persimmon salad

 

Next, rest 3 slices of figs against the prosciutto.  Gather about 3 leaves of arugula and tuck them between the figs and prosciutto. Repeat this 2 more times around each dish.

 

Then add about 5 pieces of persimmons around to each plate. Follow the persimmon with 1 tablespoon of pomegranates and almonds per plate.  Follow with 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic per plate and a drizzle of olive oil.  Sprinkle with pepper and salt.  Serve.

 

composed salad

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