I adore the big pots of mesclun that have been moved to the shadier spots in my backyard now summer is in full swing. A few snips and I have the base for a fabulous summer lunch.
There’s no real dressing to make, just assembling a couple of ingredients, including a few slices of Serrano ham, shavings of Parmesan and a handful of yellow cherries pickled with Chinese Five Spice. Somehow these three things paired with just picked lettuces and tender herbs result in a taste greater than the sum of their parts.
The cherries were the result of about an hour in the kitchen over the weekend. Now preserved for the dark days of winter, I couldn’t help but crack into one of the jars for this salad. And I’m glad I did. I have to make more of these while cherries are still in season. I did not make enough. These cherries are not only wonderful in this salad, but perfection with a cheese plate. I want to have plenty on hand to dish out with nibbles of cheese when friends pop in for a cocktail.
For the salad, combine a pile of young lettuces mixed with whatever fresh herbs you can lay your hands on (today’s mix was dill, parsley, tarragon and garlic chives). Pile three slices of Serrano or prosciutto in rosettes, shave some generous slices of Parmesan, and scatter a handful of the cherries. Drizzle the whole lot with some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with some drops of the cherry pickling mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Playlist included Mother Don’t Look Down, by Peter Bradley Adams (of Eastmountainsouth fame).