This prosciutto and crottin salad with creamy lardon vinaigrette combines tangy, smooth goat cheese, with salty prosciutto, crisp arugula, and a creamy, bacon-filled dressing. It makes a delightful appetizer or even as lunch.
How I love this creamy, tart, and decadent salad. The aged goat cheese has a velvety texture while the prosciutto adds the perfect amount of bite. This might truly be my favorite appetizer, but don’t tell the others.–Laurent Tourondel
LC Playing Favorites Note
Whichever goat cheese and proscuitto you fancy will work just fine here, although we thought you may wish to know that Chef Tourondel relies on goat milk crottin from Blue Ledge Farm in western Vermont and La Quercia brand prosciutto from Iowa (yes, Iowa).
Prosciutto and Crottin Salad with Creamy Lardon Vinaigrette
For the creamy lardon vinaigrette
- 1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the croutons
- 1 small baguette
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove halved
- Two small crottins of soft-ripened goat milk cheese
- 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
For the prosciutto and crottin cheese salad
- 1 head frisée light green and yellow leaves only
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces prosciutto very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Shaved black truffles (optional)
Make the creamy lardon vinaigrette
- In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring often, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze with the vinegar and continue to simmer until the vinegar is reduced to 2 teaspoons, about 3 minutes. Immediately add the cream and bring to a boil. Simmer the vinaigrette until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Season the vinaigrette to taste with pepper.
Make the croutons
- Adjust the top rack of the broiler 4 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler.
- Slice the baguette into twelve 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, and rub each slice with the cut side of the halved garlic, discarding the used garlic.
- Slice each goat cheese crottin into 6 thin slices and place 1 slice atop each crouton. Press a slice of the raw garlic into the cheese. Broil until the cheese begins to melt and the edge of the bread is toasted, about 1 minute.
Assemble the prosciutto and crottin cheese salad
- In a medium bowl, toss the frisée and arugula with the olive oil and red wine vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among 6 serving plates and drape the prosciutto over the salad. Place 2 croutons on top of each salad and drizzle the bacon vinaigrette over the croutons. Garnish with chopped chives and black truffle, if using.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a truly decadent salad, one to be enjoyed as lunch. The salty prosciutto and crunchy bacon were a perfect foil for the creamy, tart goat cheese. The dressing didn’t overpower the salad—instead, it lightly coated the lettuce. I did, however, pour out a little of the bacon grease because it seemed like a lot of fat. However, once the vinegar and cream reduced, it wasn’t greasy in the mouth. Regarding the “small” baguette, “small” doesn’t define a size because my small may not be someone else’s small. For me, it seemed like a lot of bread, but what’s not to like about creamy goat cheese on toast? Overall, my testers really enjoyed this salad.
Originally published February 09, 2011
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
All flavors worked perfectly together in this salad! The creaminess of the goat cheese and lardon vinaigrette complemented the other ingredients so well. I served this as a seated first-course appetizer with an oaky Chardonnay, and it was delicious. When making the vinaigrette, it didn’t state to use the rendered bacon drippings in the dressing, but I did. We loved the crispy crouton bites with the goat cheese, bacon and prosciutto. This will definitely stay in my recipe file.