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Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches

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Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Heads up: A ten-minute meal comin’ your way!

I’m not kidding—this dish takes NO. TIME. AT. ALL.

Prosciutto-wrapped peaches on a bed of bitter greens is a classic Italian starter that I used to order every time I spotted it on a summer menu…’til it finally dawned on me that this dead-simple recipe can be made at home for pennies on the dollar. Yeah, I can be dense sometimes. It took this old dog a decade to learn this peachy new trick, but hey: better late than never, right?

Once ripe peaches made their first appearance of the year at the local farmers’ market, I started making this savory, sweet, and assertive summer salad on a regular basis. Can you blame me?

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Most recipes call for grilling the porky peaches, but I’ve found that searing ’em in a skillet is a much easier and faster method. (In fact, it takes longer to fire up the barbecue than it does to prepare and eat this gorgeous hot-weather salad using a skillet.) 

Plus, I’ve replaced the usual bed of arugula with watercress. Why? ’Cause she’s the new Queen Bee of the vegetable aisle (that’s right: move over, kale), and I’ve been doing my darnedest to incorporate this nutrient-packed powerhouse into my diet. The warm peaches wilt the watercress slightly, making each mouthful  a kaleidoscope of flavors and textures.

What do you say? Ready to try your hand at my favorite summer salad?

Here’s what to assemble to make an appetizer salad for two (or one*):

  • 2 cups of watercress, thin stems and leaves only
  • 1 ripe but still firm peach, pitted and cut into six pieces
  • 6 thin slices of prosciutto 
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or lard
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon shelled dry-roasted and salted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

*I’ve apportioned this recipe as an appetizer salad for two people, but I usually just greedily gobble it up all by my lonesome. 

Here’s how to make it:

Grab a big bunch of watercress and pick off the tender leaves and thin stems until you have 2 cups of salad greens. (Reserve the rest to add to  soup.)

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Wash and spin dry the greens before dumping ’em on a plate.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slice your peach in half, remove the pit, and divide each half into thirds to get six slices. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each wedge of fruit.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The prosciutto should be coiled flat and tight around the peach slice.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

While you’re preparing the peaches, heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add the ghee or lard, and swirl to coat the pan. When the pan is hot, lay the peaches on one side and cook for about a minute or until browned. Then, flip each wedge over onto its other flat side, and cook for another 30-60 seconds.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

When the peaches are browned on both sides, flip them peach-skin side down. and brown the bottom for 30-60 seconds.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Place the hot peaches on the bed of watercress. Chop up the pistachios and sprinkle on top of the salad.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste, and top with freshly cracked black pepper.

Watercress With Seared Prosciutto + Peaches by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Look! It’s summer on a plate!


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).