There is perhaps nothing more luxurious than being a lady (or fella) who lunches. An LWL, if you will.
It’s “bougie af” as the kids say these days. (Mom, you don’t need to worry about what “af” means, ok?)
While you can definitely be an LWL any time of year, the peak season to leave work or home midday to sit with a glass of wine al fresco is, obviously, spring or summer. You’re going to want to sit in the sunshine with sunglasses on and an exciting salad to go with that crisp glass of wine, amirite? Oh la la!
One of my favorite sit-down spots near work is Ciccio, a cozy little Italian eatery. I’ve only ever strayed from my usual order twice – once on a cold fall day to get some ribollita, and once on a day that I wasn’t feeling my…absolute best. On a completely unrelated note…their carbonara with a poached egg on top is great for a hangover I hear…
But, every other time I go, I get the same salad – kale, farro, and prosciutto. Yes, you read that right. It’s a salad topped with prosciutto. So good. I’ve been meaning to re-create it for forever – it’s so simple – but I never seemed to remember at a good time. That is, until a week or so ago when I was flipping through a Food Network magazine and saw that Giada had a recipe for just about the same salad. The time had come to make that lovely salad at home.
Last Saturday, I biked to the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market and picked up some things. I was on the hunt for kale, obviously, but I also wanted to see if I could get some prosciutto there, too. I’ve been making a big effort to buy meat from smaller, more local farms that raise their livestock on pastures – I haven’t done much reading yet, but I think we all know by now that that’s better for our bodies and also for the environment.
Alas, no prosciutto. At least, no traditional prosciutto. What I did find was duck prosciutto and oh boy! It was delicious. The vendor very graciously opened a package for me to sample, and after tasting that pleasantly fatty and luscious bite, I snatched up a whole breast and skipped (well, Citibiked) home.
My whole point about this salad is that it makes for a great LWL lunch, because it’s different. It’s got healthy aspects and it’s got indulgent aspects. It’s well-balanced and won’t sit heavily in your stomach the rest of the afternoon. But! These qualities also make it a great choice for a spring or summer Sunday night dinner, one of my other favorite meals.
So, on Sunday, I mixed up the very simple yogurt dressing that goes with this and invited a friend over, and along with one of my roommates, we drank rosé and wine cocktails and snacked on some butter covered radishes (recipe coming soon) before diving into this queen of a salad.
This weekend, I urge you to make this salad, whether it’s for Saturday lunch or Sunday dinner. If you happen to find duck prosciutto somewhere, get it. If not, regular ole prosciutto (as if it would ever be considered a worse option) will do you very well. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go be a LWL.
Kale, Farro & Proscuitto Salad
Adapted from this recipe
Yields: 1 cup dressing and a large salad (feeds 4)
*Note: I served this with a side of cheesy toast on the side. I broiled some country bread lightly, rubbed a halved clove of garlic over the top, spread some fromage fort I had sitting in my fridge all over the top, and broiled again until melty and bubbly. Highly recommend.
For the dressing:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup greek yogurt (can make it ¾ if you want a thicker dressing)
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the salad:
1-2 small head(s) radicchio, thinly sliced
1 good-sized bunch of curly kale, torn
1 cup farro, cooked and cooled
½ or ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Pecorino cheese, freshly grated and to your taste (I like a thick dusting over the top of the salad, plus some to serve)
3 – 4 ounces prosciutto (If you have regular prosciutto, top each serving with a slice or two. If you have duck prosciutto, slice it any way you like, and toss it into the salad.)
- To make the dressing: In a medium bowl or a large liquid measuring cup, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, walnut oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a bottle, jar, or leave it in the measuring cup if that’s easiest. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before using.
- To make the salad: Add the kale to your salad bowl (or in my case, platter). Use some olive oil (a light drizzle) to massage the kale, just to help it soften. Add the radicchio, farro, walnuts, pecorino, and duck prosciutto (see ingredient list if you’re using regular prosciutto), and toss. Add the dressing, a little at a time, and toss some more. Repeat until the salad is dressed to your liking. Serve with an extra grating of cheese and get ready to die and go to heaven.