I had a lovely salad at the Getty Villa last week – baby greens, julienned prosciutto, and juicy cubes of ripe peach tossed with a bit of shaved Parmigiano and chopped walnuts in a delicate vinaigrette. It was one of those sun-through-magnifying-glass hot afternoons, and that cool, sweet-salty salad (and a large tan umbrella courtesy the Getty) gave me the oomph to follow our friendly docent through the hour-long architecture and garden tour.
I tried to recreate the salad this weekend, but it turned out to be a rather more difficult enterprise than I’d anticipated. The oil in the vinaigrette could not have been olive – too much fruit and pepper – so I had to experiment with several other oils. Ultimately I settled on French sunflower oil diluted with grape seed oil. For the vinegar, I used an agrodolce, which isn’t too acidic and complements the sweet-saltiness of the peaches and prosciutto (agrodolce actually translates as “salty-sweet”). Local peaches are no longer available in the markets (mine came from one of my girlfriend’s trees – her Del Mar garden is a magnificently weird space), so this may be the last time I toss this kind of salad together until next May. Sniffle, sniffle…
8 ounces organic baby greens, washed and dried
2 small peaches, washed and cubed (leave the skin on for beautiful texture and color and lots of vitamins)
1 cup of julienned Proscuitto di Parma (San Daniele and other high quality prosciutti will also work)
¼ cup of shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup French sunflower oil
¼ cup Italian grape seed oil
4 tablespoons agrodolce vinegar
Salt to taste
1. Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar and salt with a fork in a small bowl and then slowly adding in the oil until a nice emulsion forms.
2. In a separate bowl, toss the baby greens, the julienned prosciutto and the chopped walnuts with the vinaigrette. The greens should coated, not drenched. Now gently toss in the cubed peaches. Place salad on individual salad plates.
3. Top each salad with a bit of shaved Parmigiano.
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