Friday, July 18, 2014

Grilled Apricot and Arugula Salad With Prosciutto

Summer love
Is enjoying dinner,

And if your family
Is anything like mine,
With table manners
Equivalent to a pack of
Hungry wolves,

Then you know that
The real magic
Happens after dinner;

When the clean-up
Is left to a few hungry birds,
And a bully squirrel,
As they battle royale
For the food debris
That was our dinner;

And no scrap is left,
Not even yesterday's haricot vert,
Strategically hidden
Under the seat cushion
By my vegetable phobic
Youngest son.

Grilled Apricot and Arugula Salad with Prosciutto

Let me start out by saying that I am not the type of gal that would make a salad, just a salad, and call it dinner. I need something a little more substantial for my main meal.

But I was inspired, t
ruly inspired, by local apricots, 
And the gorgeous romaine lettuce and arugula
at Maximuck's Farm Market in Buckingham.  I guess it triggered my inner green goddess because before I knew it, I was making a salad,

Just a salad,

For dinner.

Maximucks is located off the beaten path on Long Lane just off of Route 413. It is a friendly farm which is run entirely on solar energy. They are known for their hydroponic lettuce, and bird feed,  and if you take the kids, they can visit with the adorable goats on the property.

I love that they sell Penn View Farm milk in glass bottles, and bake their own goodies such as cookies, brownies, and muffins.
With the apricots on the grill, I make a simple dressing with local Buckingham Valley Honey, a few good squeezes of lemon juice, and olive oil.  I season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I have a collection of glass jelly jars that are very useful for mixing up salad dressing.  I shake the ingredients to the beat of reggae music and pretend that I am at the beach.

While I'm at it, I also pretend to have rhythm.
The salad gets a little salt in the form of thinly sliced prosciutto
from Sam's Italian Market and Bakery in Warminster. The ham goes well with the peppery arugula and the sweet apricots and honey.
Sam's is a mecca for all kinds of Italian foods,
But my favorite item
By far,
Is the chocolate dipped cannoli.

Heaven on earth, I tell ya!
They also make a wicked tomato pie. 
Back to that salad....

Once the apricots have nice grill marks, I let them cool slightly before tossing the salad greens with dressing and adding toasted walnuts for crunch, fresh mozzarella for a pleasant creaminess, and the prosciutto. 

The final touch is a generous sprinkling of fresh chopped basil.
And that, my friends,
Is how I came to make
A salad,
Not just any salad,
But dinner salad;

And it was deliciously satisfying,
No entree required.

Grilled Apricot and Arugula Salad with Prosciutto
  • 6 apricots
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 Tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus extra for serving (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 2 cups romaine, chopped
  • ½ pound fresh mozzarella
  • 3-4 ounces prosciutto or other thinly sliced ham
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts*
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat grill to medium/high.
  2. Cut apricots in half, remove pit, and brush the cut side with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil.   Place apricot halves on the grill, cut side down, and grill for 5 minutes or until nice grill marks are achieved.  Remove from grill and let cool slightly.
  3. Make dressing:  Place ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and honey in a jar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Secure the lid and shake until combined. 
  4. Toss arugula and lettuce with dressing and place on serving platter.  Arrange cheese, prosciutto, and walnuts on top of salad.  Arrange apricots on platter and top with basil. Drizzle a little honey over the top of the apricots and serve. 

Serves 6 as a main course

*For toasted walnuts:  place walnuts on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Let cool.

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