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Sunday, January 13, 2013

INSALATA RUSTICA

This is a wonderful cool weather salad, with a yummy and interesting assortment of ingredients and flavors that come together perfectly. I was especially intrigued by the roasting of the grapes, and was excited to try the recipe.
I first made this for my Uncle, when he was visiting in the Fall, and we were able to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and each others company. It's too cold to dine Al Fresco in Fayetteville in January, but thankfully I have the warmth of wonderful memories and the mantle of good food to keep me warm.

INSALATA RUSTICA


1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 ounces proscuitto, chopped
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes
1/2 cup cherries, pitted
salad greens
2 pears, cored and chopped
balsamic glaze or aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces parmesan cheese, sliced

Heat oven to 350F.
Whisk 1/4 cup oil and lemon juice in a bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. 
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add proscuitto and sauté until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Toss grapes with 1 tablespoon of oil, place on baking sheet, roast until grapes begin to shrivel, about 15 minutes. Cool grapes on the baking sheet.
Mix greens, pears, dressing, proscuitto, grapes and cherries in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates, drizzle with vinegar, sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with cheese.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, November 2008

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