Make sure you remove not only the inedible rind but also any excess fat from the cooked country ham. The profound taste of that fat is just too strong, a poor match for the pears.–Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough
Although the authors call for cooked country ham, we find it works well with almost any cooked ham.
Arugula Salad with Ham
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Makes 2 entrees, 6 appetizers
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces
- 2/3 pound (about 4 cups) baby arugula leaves
- 6 ounces cooked ham, rind removed and discarded, meat thinly sliced and cut into strips
- 1 large ripe Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil (or, in a pinch, olive oil)
- 1. Sprinkle the walnuts around a dry skillet set over medium-low heat. Leave them alone a couple minutes, then stir well and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, just until splotchy brown and fragrant. Pour them out onto a cutting board, cool for a few minutes, then chop into little bits.
- 2. Mix the arugula, ham, and pear pieces in a large bowl.
- 3. Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl, then whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until you’ve got a creamy, somewhat thick dressing.
- 4. Pour the dressing over the arugula mixture, and then sprinkle the toasted walnut pieces on top.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This makes a fabulous substantial salad, enough for a meal. The saltiness of the country ham meshes so well with the meaty, aromatic toasted walnuts, slightly tart/sweet pears and the sweet/acidic honey apple cider vinaigrette. And the slightly bitter peppery arugula seals the deal rather nicely by adding yet another flavor dimension. I do not think you could improve upon this balance, except to perhaps add some chunks of gorgonzola and/or crispy pancetta instead of the country ham. Or maybe not. It is nearly perfect as is.