It's the end of August. Hotter than heck and my birthday....
My best friend and I seek out and explore new places to dine every month.
We refer to this activity as the 'Purple Rose Society.' This month she selected an 'old school' type restaurant in Southern California. Sadly, the restaurant closed after 35+ years, but not before I got THIS recipe direct from the sous chef. I have worked in many restaurants and I know it isn't easy to get a recipe from establishments (whether you work there or not.) My friend and I had this amazing salad, and truly it is beyond delicious- - regardless of the temperature outside. This is my version of a remarkable Summer Salad. If you eat tomatoes one way this summer, LET IT BE THIS WAY. Happy birthday to me!!! :) —Miss_Karen
What You'll Need
Fresh buffalo mozzarella ball
Prosciutto ham, 1/4 inch dice
Firm Heirloom tomatoes, different colors OR 1 golden tomato and 1 Roma tomato
clean fresh baby spinach, stems removed
Toasted pine nuts
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil, chopped
White Balsamic vinegar
Clove minced fresh garlic
Salt and fresh ground white pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
Slice the mozzarella ball into ¼ inch slices. Do the same with the tomatoes. Shred or chop the prosciutto. Layer the following ingredients in a row inside a shallow pie tin; tomato, cheese, prosciutto. Continue until ingredients are used.
Creamy Basil Vinaigrette:
Place the mustard, vinegar,shallots and garlic into a blender. SLOWLY add the oil until emulsified. Add the fresh basil, salt and pepper and puree until smooth. If the dressing is too thick you can add a few drops of water or lemon juice until it reaches desired consistency.
*Note-vinaigrette will keep in a jar or container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Place the pie tin with the layered mozzarella into a 350 F for 3-4 minutes.
In a large bowl toss the spinach with enough dressing to coat the leaves. Place the salad onto a plate.
Use a spatula to place the warm layered mozzarella into the center of the salad. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
Serve with a good Ciabatta bread and your favorite glass of wine.
Sometimes I add 3-4 quartered artichokes and some sliced Kalamata olives.