4th of July is just a few days away, which means its time once again for our family to gather at Mountain Lake, as we have done for the last 10 years. Remember the movie “On Golden Pond?”…its a lot like that here…kayaks, canoes, and little putt-putt boats. Not a whole lot going on , which is just what I love about this place. My parents’ lake house was originally built in 1904, and owned by a woman who opened the doors as a bed and breakfast. She was apparently an amazing baker, as accounts of delicious cakes and cookies were recorded in the early guest books. At times, you can feel a “friendly presence” in the kitchen, which is okay with us…. in this family the topic of discussion over our morning coffee is usually what we should make for dinner..so I would have to say our friendly spirit is in good company.
Plans for a traditional 4th of July barbecue dinner and fireworks are well underway. This year I will be making my Radicchio Salad with Prosciutto Chips, Parmesan, and Basil. The salty bite of the Parmigianno-Reggiano and crispy prosciutto “chips”complement a variety of flavors, making it an ideal salad for parties, where others will bring a dish of their own to share.
So here you go…give this one a try the next time you are looking for a versatile salad to share.
Radicchio Salad with Prosciutto Chips, Parmesan, and Basil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons white Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons canola oil
Combine garlic and next 5 ingredients together using an immersion blender (or traditional blender); gradually add oils.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin
3 heads radicchio, cored, leaves separated
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
1 recipe Herb Croutons (recipe follows)
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat; add prosciutto slices and cook until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side; transfer to towel lined plate to drain.
Place radicchio in large salad bowl. Add dressing, Parmigianno-Reggiano, and croutons; toss well. Divide among plates and top with prosciutto “chips” and sprinkle with basil.
3 cups bread cubes (preferably rustic bread)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
small pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon each: dried basil, dried thyme leaves, poultry seasoning
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a heavy baking sheet and toast in the oven 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, melt butter with olive oil in microwave. Add garlic and dry seasonings, stirring to combine. Add toasted bread cubes to olive oil mixture, tossing to mix well. Return bread cubes to baking sheet, spreading out evenly. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes, until croutons are crisp and well browned.