Salads

Arugula Salad with Figs, Prosciutto, Walnuts, and Parmesan

SERVES 6 (FAST): A spoonful of jam in the dressing guarantees an arugula salad
that is lively but not harsh.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Arugula has a lively, spicy bite, and so for a salad, it’s important to choose accompaniments that can stand up to its assertive character. We found that the sweet and salty notes of figs and prosciutto, both popular in Italian cuisine, paired well with peppery arugula, so we began by frying up thin slices of prosciutto to heighten its flavor and give it some crunch. Dried figs were easier to come by than their fresh counterparts, and chopping them into small pieces ensured that we got bites of fig throughout the salad. A basic vinaigrette, made with mustard and balsamic, was too spicy with the already punchy arugula. A surprise substitution—a spoonful of jam in place of the mustard—added fruity sweetness, pulling the flavors of the salad right in line. Microwaving the vinegar, jam, minced shallot, and chopped figs allowed the fruit to plump and the flavors to meld before we whisked in the olive oil. Toasted walnuts, sprinkled over the dressed arugula, gave the salad an earthy crunch, and Parmesan complemented the walnuts while also reinforcing the prosciutto’s salty flavor. Although frying the prosciutto adds crisp texture to the salad, you can simply cut it into ribbons and use it as a garnish. Honey can be substituted for the raspberry jam.

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into ¼-inch-wide ribbons
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dried figs, stemmed and chopped
  • 8 ounces (8 cups) baby arugula
  • ½ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer prosciutto to paper towel–lined plate; set aside.
  2. Whisk vinegar, jam, shallot, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Stir in figs, cover, and microwave until steaming, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Let sit until figs are softened and vinaigrette has cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, whisk vinaigrette to re-emulsify. Add arugula and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping individual portions with prosciutto, walnuts, and Parmesan.

VARIATION

Arugula Salad with Pear, Almonds, Goat Cheese, and Apricots

Honey can be substituted for the apricot jam.

  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced thin
  • 8 ounces (8 cups) baby arugula
  • 1 ripe but firm pear, halved, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (¾ cup)
  1. Whisk vinegar, jam, shallot, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl. Add apricots, cover, and microwave until steaming, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil. Stir in onion and let sit until figs are softened and vinaigrette has cooled to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
  2. Just before serving, whisk vinaigrette to re-emulsify. Add arugula and pear and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, topping individual portions with almonds and goat cheese.
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close