Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Sexy Salad - Grilled Apricot, Burrata, Prosciutto & Arugula

I wasn't planning to feature salads again so soon after my last post, but this salad was begging to be shared. It was totally sexy and very delicious. I am trusting that most food enthusiasts will know what I mean here. Does this salad purr to you like it does to me? 

Grilled Apricot, Burrata, Prosciutto and Arugula with Balsamic Reduction, Photo: NK

Whether you call this a dish or a salad, it's a great accompaniment to a light summer supper. On its own with a few slices of grilled bread, it makes for an impressive light lunch. The best part? It works well with many different fruits and even meats, so you can adjust it to what's in season. This dish is really a perfect example of how a few ingredients of superior quality can conspire to make something so easy that tastes and looks amazing. Enjoy, and get sexy with it. 

What you'll need:

In Season Summer Stone Fruit - Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines or Plums. Pears, though not a stone fruit, are a great option for winter.  I've been loving Apricots lately, so I went with those. 

Burrata Cheese - Burrata is heavenly. It's not the same as buffalo mozzarella or really mozzarella at all. Picture a white ball of soft, cheesy perfection with a runny, buttery inside that tastes rich and light all at the same time. More about the wonders of Burrata: The Uncanny Tastiness of Burrata

Arugula and Radicchio - I like to use Wild Arugula because the leaves have a really striking shape. Baby Arugula would also work well. Radicchio has a bitter taste so adjust the proportions of it to your palate and cut it into very thin ribbons so it doesn't overpower the dish. Radicchio provides red ribbons of color that look gorgeous amid the green bed of arugula, colorful stone fruit, and oozy, creamy burrata. 

Prosciutto or other thinly sliced Cured Meat - Buy imported Prosciutto if you can. 

Balsamic Reduction - Don't skip this easy to prepare, make-ahead component that adds instant wow-factor and a very important flavor that ties the dish together. The balsamic drizzle is also key from a visual standpoint.

The Recipe:

Grilled Apricots with Burrata, Prosciutto and Arugula
Serves 8
Adapted from Food and Wine - Travis Lett

6 or 7 stone fruits of your choice, pitted and halved 
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus more for brushing on fruit before you grill
1.5 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice 
Sea Salt and freshly ground Pepper
1/2 a small head of Radicchio, cored and sliced into thin ribbons
5 Oz of Baby Arugula or Wild Arugula
3/4 Lb Burrata Cheese (one or two large rounds work best) cut into chunks
1/3 Lb sliced Prosciutto or other thin sliced cold cut of your choice (Country Ham, Speck)
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar   


Prepare your Balsamic Reduction - This can be done one or two days ahead if you prefer. Simply bring the 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar to a rapid boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to boil for 5 minutes or more until the liquid reduces and becomes quite syrupy. Remove from heat, cool, and pour into an airtight container. If not using immediately, refrigerate.

Brush Fruits on the cut side with oil. Set on a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until lightly charred. Set aside to cool.

Mix up Dressing separately in a small bowl - Combine Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Salt and Pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.

Toss Arugula with Radicchio in another large bowl. Add Fruit and slowly add dressing to bowl. You may not need to use all of the dressing, so drizzle it and toss salad gently until you have the desired amount. 

To Assemble: Lay the Arugula and Radicchio mixture in small clusters on a large platter. Arrange grilled fruits to your liking around the platter. Dot with Burrata and add slices of Prosciutto that have been rolled up. Drizzle everything with the Balsamic Reduction. 

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