Recipe Index

Italian | Arugula Fall Salad

Posted on October 11, 2011

This is a surprisingly delicious salad. I thought it would be good, but not this good! The salad is from the Thomas Keller cookbook Ad Hoc at Home. His recipes are tasty, but tend to have lots of steps, sometimes you can put the dish together a little more easily. After each paragraph of instruction, I included a note on what I did to reduce the steps or other changes that I made.

Yield: 4 servings

arugula fall salad


2 ounces pine nuts

kosher sea salt

4 baby (3/4 inch diameter) leeks, trimmed, white and green parts only, washed

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 cups fresh arugula leaves

1 large Fuyu persimmon (or papaya or mango), very thinly sliced on a mandolin

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/2 inch by 3 inch long ribbons

1 recipe Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

4 tablespoons thinly sliced chives



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pine nuts on the lined pan and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned. Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, sprinkle with salt, and let cool. (I didn't line the pan. Also it took less time than 10 minutes to toast the pine nuts, about 5 minutes.)

Heat chicken stock in a medium saucepan to a boil. Set a cooling rack on a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Blanch the leeks in the boiling stock for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain leeks on the paper towel lined rack. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Season with salt. (I didn't use the cooling rack or baking sheet, I just used a plate and paper towels. I cut the leeks prior to blanching.)

Toss together the arugula, persimmon (or papaya or mango), leeks, pine nuts, and prosciutto in a salad bowl. Drizzle about half the sherry vinaigrette around the sides of the bowl. Toss the salad lightly to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. (I have used both papaya and mango. I used less vinaigrette, since I reduced the arugula to about 4 cups.)

Arrange salad on a serving platter, layering the ingredients. Drizzle a little of the remaining vinaigrette over the top. Sprinkle the salad with cheese and chives and serve with remaining vinaigrette on the side.


1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 to 1-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Whisk the two vinegars in a bowl, then whisk in about 1 cup of the olive oil in a steady stream. The vinaigrette should look broken (do not emulsify the dressing.) Taste to check the balance of acid and oil, and add more olive oil as needed. Refrigerate in a covered containers for up to 1 month.


(Ref. Sur La Table's "Fall Salad with Baby Leeks, Parmesan Cheese, Fuyu Persimmon, Pine Nuts, Prosciutto, and Sherry Vinaigrette" recipe, "Thomas Keller's Home Cooking Session 2: Italian Home Cooking" class.)