Fontina & Dried Serrano Ham Salad

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

Vinaigrette:

  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 c. olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. walnut oil
  • 2 limes (juice only)

Salad:

  • 8 slices Serrano ham
  • 1/2 watermelon
  • 1 lb. baby arugula
  • 8 pieces thinly sliced rice bread
  • 2 Tbsp. fontina cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream  
  • 8 mint leaves for garnish

Watermelon Granita:

  • 2 c. watermelon leftovers
  • 2 Tbsp. citrus aquavit (citrus flavored vodka)  
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2 limes (juice only)
  • Prepare the vinaigrette and salad

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200° F. In a medium skillet, toast pine nuts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic until golden brown over medium heat. Reserve half of the pine nuts for garnish. In a blender, combine remaining pine nuts, Balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, walnut oil and juice of 2 limes. Set aside until ready to serve. Put the Serrano ham on a baking sheet and dry in oven for 40 minutes. Slice watermelon into rectangles 2 x 2 x 6 inches. Set aside about four pieces for each salad. Reserve remaining watermelon for granita.

To Prepare the Watermelon Granita:

In a blender, combine reserved watermelon, vodka, 8 mint leaves and juice of 2 limes. Purée until smooth. Place the mixture in a baking dish and freeze until crystallized.

To Serve:

Scrape out the granita crystals and place in the bottom of a large bowl. Toss arugula with the vinaigrette. Put the arugula on top of the granita. Put the Serrano ham, rice sticks and reserved pine nuts on top. In a small bowl, mix fontina and sour cream drizzle over salad.