Let me start by saying that that this is a beautiful and delicious salad! Anyone who likes salad, will love this unique combination of peach, fennel, mozzarella, and prosciutto with a balsamic viniagrette. This salad will satisfy your sweet and salty palate. Tyler says that he put this salad together as one of his first dinner parties when he moved to California. He says it was a hit from get-go. I believe it. I will have no problem gobbling this salad up and I can't wait to share it with my mom. I have a group of picky eaters in my house and my Mom is the only one who eats my salad/veggie recipes.
8 thin slices prosciutto (about 1/2 lb) - cook more if you have it. I love good prosciutto!
4 peaches, firm but ripe, halved and pitted
1/2 fennel bulb
2 balls (8 ounces each) fresh buffalo mozzarella, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups fresh hydroponic watercress or other peppery green (I used arugula)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Lay prosciutto slices out flat in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crispy and golden. Remove from tray and drain on paper towels.
Cut peaches into thick wedges; set aside. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, shave fennel into paper-thin crescents. Drop fennel slices in a large bowl of ice water for 1 minutes to crisp; drain and dry on paper towels. Toss peaches, fennel, mozzarella, and watercress(or peppery green) together in a large salad bowl.
To prepare the dressing, put balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in oil until mixture emulsifies slightly. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle individual servings of salad with dressing; top with crispy prosciutto.
NOTE: If you have Tyler's book you will notice that the dressing looks different in the book. I think he reduced some balsamic vinegar for the picture. The dressing in the picture is thick and brown and looks a lot like reduced balsamic. Mine is nowhere near as pretty, but it was very tasty.
I encourage everyone to try this recipe. It is the ultimate in spring/summer salad and I really enjoyed it and think anyone who is a salad lover will love it!