Mixed green salad with prosciutto and cherries is a simple and stunning and satiating summer supper of mixed lettuces and vinagrette plus some salad surprises. Best yet, it requires no cooking. Just a little slicing and tossing.
This lovely little number from the equally lovely British writer and recipe-writing legend, Nigel Slater, is our sorta summer supper. Just whisk, chop, and toss and you’re done. Though you needn’t share that information with anyone else at the table. Just let him or her thank you for slaving over such a stunning and sumptuous repast, smile, and graciously say “thank you.” Talk about a sumptuous weeknight repast.–Nigel Slater
Mixed Green Salad with Prosciutto and Cherries
For the dressing
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- A few flat-leaf parsley leaves finely chopped
For the salad
- 4 generous handfuls salad greens
- 3 ounces thinly sliced cured ham, such as prosciutto, Parma, speck, or coppa cut into strips
- 4 handfuls cherries halved and pitted
Make the dressing
- Place the mustard in a small bowl with the pinch salt, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and a grind of black pepper. Mix with a fork or small whisk, then introduce the cream. Add the parsley to the dressing and stir to combine.
Make the salad
- Toss the salad leaves with the cured ham. Add the cherries and drizzle with the dressing. Serve without delay.
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Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This simple salad was unexpectedly lovely. The play of the salty cured pork (I used coppa) against the luscious sweetness of the cherries (Flathead Lake at their peak) was totally satisfying. The addition of that little bit of cream to the vinaigrette lent a smooth richness that complemented the flavors of both the pork and the cherries, while avoiding any harshness. I wouldn’t change a thing!
What a great combination of salty, sweet, and acidic. The vinaigrette is smoothed out by the cream. I’ll definitely make this again whenever cherries are in season.
This super simple, summer-on-a-plate salad is delicious. The dressing is surprisingly well-balanced, even though I was convinced 3 tablespoons of cream would dilute the vinegar flavor too much. A pleasing balance is achieved by the combination of the rich salty pork (I used speck) and the sweet juicy cherries. I think this would be a perfect lunch, as you have plenty of protein from the pork, but it would also be lovely as a starter salad before dinner. Although I was awfully fond of the recipe as written, I do think a few additional items would put it over the top. The parsley Slater calls for in the dressing works well, but I think some sliced shallot or fresh chives to add an onion-y flavor would also be divine. I noticed a distinct lack of hard crunch and thought a few nuts—maybe toasted walnuts or even sunflower seeds—would be lovely sprinkled over the top.
What a difference a bit of cream makes! I say this because the vinaigrette is a typical vinaigrette (Dijon, red wine vinegar, olive oil) until cream enters the picture. The creaminess is delightful, and adds a desirable acidity. It transports the dressing to being worthy of the awesome ingredients in this salad: the greens, the fresh cherries, the cured ham (I used prosciutto, as it was what I had on hand).. The cherries add a kick of lush sweetness and the glistening deep red orbs are pretty on the plate. In addition to this, there is a sprinkling of fresh parsley which brightens the dish. What you get is a bit of salty ham, sweet cherry, savory fresh greens, and the creamy vinaigrette in each bite. If this is not an amazingly balanced salad, I don’t know what is.
Simple fixings make for an elegant salad. The dressing is creamy and subtle, and comes together very easily from pantry and refrigerator staples. Along with the slight sweetness of the cherries, the dressing provides a nice balance to the salty meat. For a vegetarian option (or if the cured ham selection at your local store is lacking), I think that green olives would provide a similar, briny contrast to the subtler flavors.
This is a very simple salad, but a delightful combination of flavors. I used speck for the meat. The mustard and cream act as emulsifiers. They make the vinaigrette dressing very stable, and give it a nice consistency. Make sure you don’t miss the pinch of salt in the dressing, as it makes a big difference. The amount of cured pork in this salad is quite a bit, so the salad is more substantial than you might think. It could definitely be a meal with a roll or hunk of baguette on the side.
I made this salad twice, once using speck and once with coppa. Speck is the clear winner for me as it didn’t overwhelm the salad at all. The cherries I used were Bing, which are in season now and just so sweet. The dressing is a winner as well. The second time I doubled the amount of dressing and used the leftovers on a traditional green salad with tomatoes the next day. I will use this recipe again and again!
When cherries begin to appear in farmers markets every spring, it’s a sign that this salad is about to appear on our table. I actually have begun to buy prosciutto ahead of time, so that when the cherries go home with me, I will be able to make this ASAP. The salad is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. The colors and flavors are vibrant. This can be used to impress guests as well as indulge yourself with something special.
Originally published June 09, 2018
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
LOVED this salad! It was refreshing, easy to make, and tasted like…more. The sweetness of the cherries offset the saltiness of the speck, and the creamy vinaigrette was a nice complement to the mixed greens. The dressing came together very quickly and without fuss in a mini blender. I would cheerfully have a double helping of this salad alone for my dinner, although it would also make a lovely starter salad for a more formal meal. My family all agreed this one’s a keeper.