This is a very simple, but hearty, seasonal salad to enjoy as the days grow shorter and the evenings cooler. It is endlessly customizable, but the basics must include roasted winter squash, cured meat, and sharp salad greens. And, the very best balsamic vinegar you can find.My inspiration was Jamie Oliver, and his book “Jamie’s Kitchen”. This is his “Warm Salad of Roasted Squash, Prosciutto, and Pecorino”. Mine is made with roasted pumpkin, spicy salami, and Parmesan. I’ve drizzled it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar straight from the source: Modena, Italy. It is the perfect lunch or light dinner salad, along with some crusty bread and wine. So go ahead and make this with whatever you have on hand: butternut squash, acorn squash, or pumpkin, parma ham or prosciutto, tart arugula, feisty escarole, or watercress leaves. Then shave over some assertive cheese, such as Parmesan or Pecorino. Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or sliced almonds, and enjoy!
A Fall Salad, with an Italian Accent
- A large wedge of pumpkin, roasted in a 375°F oven for about 40 mins, cooled slightly, seasoned with salt and pepper, and torn into medium-sized pieces.
- 12 to 16 slices of spicy salami, such as Calabrese
- Four handfuls of baby arugula
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Parmesan cheese, shaved into thin shards with a vegetable peeler
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar, imported is best
- On each salad plate, arrange the salami slices, leaving some flat and rolling the others into fan shapes. Scatter the roasted pumpkin pieces amongst the salami, then top with the arugula and pumpkin seeds. Season the salad with salt and pepper, drizzle on the olive oil and then add a judicious amount of balsamic vinegar. Scatter the shaved cheese over the salad and serve.