The combination of crisp endive and Asian pear with luscious Serrano ham, meanwhile, makes a spectacular salad. Serrano ham is available at upmarket butchers and delis. Even better, if available, is the nutty-tasting Iberico ham made from pigs fattened on acorns in Spain in the early fall. If Serrano or Iberico ham is unavailable, use prosciutto. The topper for the accompanying toasts - taleggio - is a semi-soft washed-rind cheese from Italy. Although it has a pungent smell, it tastes buttery and has a slightly fruity finish. It is also a wonderful cheese for melting over vegetables.
- 6 spears Belgian endive, cut into strips on the bias
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- 1 Asian pear, cut into thin slices
- 6 to 8 slices Serrano ham, cut into strips
- 5 ounces (150 grams) taleggio, sliced
- 6 thin slices baguette, toasted
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
Divide endive and arugula among 6 plates. Top with a layer of pear and Serrano ham.
Preheat broiler to high. Divide cheese among baguette slices and broil for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with chives and serve with taleggio toasts. Serves 6.