This prosciutto salad with peach and mozzarella is an elegant and delicious way to enjoy the fantastic flavors of summer. Better yet, it’s easy to make. Thanks to Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma for sponsoring this post.
A few months ago, when my husband mentioned that he might have a work trip to Bologna in Italy, I was immediately on board with tagging along. Even the idea of entertaining the kids myself most days in another country didn’t deter me as I realized we wouldn’t be far from Parma. It might look small on the map, but it’s the home to both Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano Reggiano. So naturally, I couldn’t pass up a chance to visit.
I managed to organize a tour to visit producers of both those foodie icons, and neither of them disappointed. If you follow on Instagram, you might have seen some highlights already, but let me give you a bit more of a taste of our prosciutto experience.
What distinguishes Prosciutto di Parma?
Prosciutto di Parma is often considered the cream of the crop of cured ham. If you look at the ingredients, it doesn’t seem much, being simply Italian-bred pork and Mediterranean sea salt. But there are so many little details that go into curing prosciutto that results in a truly special product.
For example, only particular heritage breeds of pig are used and it can only be made in a fairly narrow area near Parma where the air is dry with a breeze through the hills from the Adriatic Sea, which gives Prosciutto di Parma its unique flavor. It also happens to be a beautiful setting, as you can see.
The legs of ham are hand salted, and go through various stages of curing, all taking a minimum of 400 days in total, all strictly controlled.
One of the things I hadn’t appreciated before was all the little signs of those controls throughout the process (you can learn more about the details here as well). For example, the pork is tagged as soon as it enters the prosciuttificio and then the Parma crown is the final stamp of approval once it has had it’s final check.
That crown is then the badge of quality and authenticity you can look for on packaging or on the leg of ham when you are looking in store.
And if you want to know if it’s all worth it, trust me it is. If you haven’t tried it yet, you need to, as this is a ham that really melts in your mouth. My kids devoured the samples on our tour and any other opportunity they got to have some.
In fairness, they had tried some before (I know, they are spoiled). I love it in my goat’s cheese and prosciutto croissant and on prosciutto crostini, amongst other things. But seeing the process and the wall of ham in the curing room, above, makes it feel all the more special any time I have a slice.
Making this prosciutto salad
There are so many ways to enjoy the delicate flavors of this ham, but in summer I think this prosciutto salad with peach and mozzarella is one of my favorites. It’s easy to make, even making the pretty little ham roses. It’s light and perfect as a lunch or shared as an appetizer. The flavors and textures go so well, and it’s a salad that really looks the part too, I think.
Best of all, it’s easy to make. All you do is:
- toast the pine nuts;
- slice the peach and mozzarella;
- roll up pieces of prosciutto di Parma;
- then put it all together on your plate.
This prosciutto salad brings a little bit of Italy, in all it’s bright, delicious glory, to any table and is something you will want to enjoy again and again. It’s a salad that relies on a few great ingredients, then lets them all shine. And shine they do.
This prosciutto salad is light and packed with delicious summery flavors.
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 4 oz mozzarella 115g
- 1 peach
- 2 handfuls arugula rocket
- 2 oz Prosciutto di Parma 60g
- 5 mint leaves approx
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar aged, if possible
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet or on a baking sheet under the broiler, keeping a close eye as they can quickly burn. Set aside to cool.
Slice the mozzarella into bite sized pieces and cut the peach into slices.
Put the arugula in the bottom of a serving bowl or divide between two individual bowls. Arrange the mozzarella and peach slices over the top.
Take slices of the Prosciutto de Parma and separate into 2-4 pieces so that you can roll the pieces into a little rose shape. Place the ham roses in the salad.
Drizzle over the toasted pine nuts, roughly shred the mint leaves and scatter over the top then drizzle on the vinegar and olive oil. Add a little salt and pepper, to taste, then serve.
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