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Italian Salad with Warm Balsamic Dressing

This salad is incredibly good and well worth the trouble of making it. I like it for special occasions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into thin rings
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  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 small head each romaine, radicchio, red-leaf, and curly endive
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz.) pine nuts, toasted (you can substitute slivered almonds)
  • 4 whole scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved with a vegetable peeler into thin curls
  • 6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into bite size squares
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup lightly packed Italian, flat-leaf parsley
  • 8 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 - 6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • freshly grated pepper

Directions:

Soak the red onion slices in red wine vinegar for at least 30 minutes. Drain well just before using, making sure to keep the vinegar.

In a skillet, slowly cook the garlic in the olive oil over very low heat for about 8 minutes, until barely colored. This takes the raw flavor off. Remove and reserve. Turn the heat to medium high and add the vinegars (red and balsamic). Cook for a few minutes, or until the acids are slightly diffused. Add sugar to taste, and let bubble slowly for 1 minute. Taste, adjust vinegars and sugar, then stir in the garlic, olive oil, and pepper.

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Top the salad with the drained red onions and scatter the reserved items (cheese, prosciutto, scallions, and pine nuts) over the top. Stirring the very warm dressing vigorously to combine, spoon it over the salad.

You can substitute an equal amount of good salami for the prosciutto to save some money. This salad is worth the expense of buying good cheese, though, and the cheese curls add a lot of flavor.

Don't add salt, it has enough natural salt in it.

By Free2B from North Royalton, OH

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Food and Recipes Recipes Salads ItalianDecember 27, 2011
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