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.
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.
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
Black peppercorns, crushed
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar or reduced balsamic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
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.
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.