Red-Leaf, Fig, and Serrano Ham Salad
This salad takes mere minutes to make, and yet is so enduringly beautiful. I don’t overstate the case; there is something positively painterly about the delicate heaping of dark red leaves, red-bellied figs, and deep pink ham. I love the sharpness of Manchego, dropped in feathery shavings all amongst this, but don’t panic if the cheese eludes you (though my supermarket does stock it). Just use some Parmesan or pecorino instead.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursecold appetizer, side dish, vegetable
Taste and Texturelight, salty, sweet
Type of Dishfirst course salad, salad
- 1 head radicchio or radicchio rosso
- 8 cups baby ruby chard or a couple of bags of salad with red-toned tender leaves
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 8 fresh figs, quartered
- 10 oz Serrano ham slices, cut very thinly
- 2 oz Manchego cheese, shaved into slices
Tear the head of radicchio into manageable pieces, and toss together with the baby salad leaves.
Whisk together the vinegar, oil, and salt in a small bowl and then dress the leaves.
Arrange the figs and ham as artistically as you can muster over the salad and then, with a potato peeler, shave the cheese over, letting it fall lightly where it will.
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2007 Nigella Lawson