Italian Salad with Pepperoni Vinaigrette

This is an unusual salad. It takes some time, but as Chuck said, “It is well worth it!” Barb L.

Yield: 4 Salads

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 head romaine or a mix of other greens (about 4 cups)

4 ounces diced prosciutto (prosciutto is usually cooked, just be sure), diced

3-4 slices provolone cheese (about 3-4 ozs.) I used 4 slices of Provolone Soy cheese and it worked well

For the vinaigrette:

½ cup Flying Olive Single Varietal of Choice

¼-1 tsp Flying Olive Cayenne Red Chili Extra Virgin Olive Oil, optional

¼ cup Flying Olive Neapolitan, 18 Year Traditional, A-1 Premium Balsamic Vinegar or a Combination

8-12 slices of pepperoni (I used turkey pepperoni)

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions:                 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Place the provolone slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Note: Without the parchment paper, this is a sticky mess!) Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is toasted and lightly browned and bubbly.

When the cheese is finished cooking, remove from the oven and cut each slice into medium-sized squares. A pizza cutter works well. Allow the cheese to get crispy while it cools.

In the meantime, combine the Flying Olive Single Varietal of Choice and the Flying Olive Cayenne Red Chili Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a sauté pan. Add the slices of pepperoni. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes. You may need to turn the pan down after it initially gets hot to keep from burning the pepperoni or spattering oil. After 30 minutes, turn the heat up and cook the pepperoni until it gets crispy. Turn off the heat and let the oil return to room temperature. When cool, remove the pepperoni from the oil and crumble or cut it into small pieces.

Prep the remaining salad ingredients.

When the oil is cool, transfer it to a jar with a lid. Add the Flying Olive Balsamic Vinegar of Choice and shake well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the greens you prefer in a large bowl. (I used red leaf and arugula in the photo). Spoon half the dressing over the lettuce and toss. Add more dressing if needed. Refrigerate any leftover dressing for up to 5 days.

To assemble the salad, place the dressed lettuce on the bottom of the plate, top with the quartered tomatoes and diced prosciutto. Finish with a wedge of the crispy provolone and the crumbled/cut up cooked pepperoni. Serve.

Submitted by Barb L.