Baby Arugula with Country Ham, Goat Cheese, Dried Cherries, and Walnut Vinaigrette
- 3 to 4 ounces fully-cooked, thinly-sliced, boneless country ham
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 8 cups fresh baby arugula, picked through and washed
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 2 to 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham slices and cook until golden and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and julienne. Set aside.
Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a medium, mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, honey and shallots to the warm nuts. Allow mixture to sit for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the greens with the cherries and the desired amount of the dressing. Mound the greens in the center of each plate. Arrange the crispy ham around the greens and crumble the cheese on top of the greens. Garnish the salad with cracked pepper.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005