In the spring, Insalata’s restaurant in San Anselmo serves this composed salad with ripe Bosc pears, while in the fall it might use figs or persimmons. Organic arugula or escarole is a great substitute for the frisée and a gorgonzola may be substituted for the Valdeón.
8 paper-thin slices serrano ham or prosciutto
8 ounces haricots verts, trimmed and blanched for 3 minutes
2 firm, ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Leaves from 1 small head frisée lettuce
1/2 cup chopped marcona almonds
1/2 cup Valdeón cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the Valdeón cream: Combined the cheese and cream into a blender or food processor. Blend until just smooth. Stir in the salt and pepper. Transfer the cream to a squeeze bottle. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the sherry vinaigrette: Combine the shallot, vinegar and salt in small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in the honey, mustard and oils. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Assemble the salad by placing 2 slices of ham on each of 4 plates. In a medium nonaluminum bowl, combine the blanched haricots verts, pear slices, frisée leaves, almonds and 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Toss gently and mound on top of the ham. Drizzle with the Valdeón cream and serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a first course.
Organic Marin: Recipes from Land to Table
Written and photographed by Tim Porter and Farina Wong Kingsley, and produced by Marin Magazine, this is a seasonal cookbook that celebrates the organic farmers and ranchers of Marin County. Flavor will feature a recipe from Organic Marin each month. The book can be purchased at local bookstores or by going to marinmagazine.com/organicmarin.