Okay, it’s kind of evil to tease you with the fact that we’re featuring Sandrini’s as our Quick Bites with Local Flavor restaurant but we aren’t giving away the recipe to their amazing and famous sausage bread.
But you know we always ask places to create something new and special for readers—something not on their menu; that’s just how we roll. Even at Sandrini’s, where the menu is filled with amazing local Basque and Italian favorites, where live bands play on the regular, and Trivia Nights abound, we had to stick to our guns. This issue, Sandrini’s General Manager Ken Dandy provided us with a recipe for a light, flavorful salad that you could prepare as an appetizer or side to many a delicious dish. “The greens, goat cheese, and melons all come from the Valley,” Dandy explained. “We use a vendor that specifically utilizes local produce.” If you’ve eaten there, you can taste that difference. And you’ll taste the difference with this salad. The sweet melon and the prosciutto complement each other so well while the candied walnuts add a decadent crunch to the bitter field greens (all topped with a raspberry vinaigrette). It’s simple and we love it.
Melon & Prosciutto Salad
- Field Greens
- Package of prosciutto
- Goat cheese
- 1 c. walnuts
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
Start by candying your walnuts. “Do it in the traditional fashion,” Dandy said. Meaning melting your butter and brown sugar together in a skillet and tossing in the walnuts until they are coated (stir constantly to make sure they are coated and the mixture doesn’t burn). Add in a dash of vanilla and cinnamon to taste. Transfer to parchment paper and separate and let cool.
Some people like a lot of prosciutto, some don’t. But you want there to be enough to go with the melon, so thinly slice enough prosciutto (about a 1/4 cup per salad). You may want to give it a light sear in a hot pan to get it crispy or you may want to leave it raw, either way it’s fine and will taste great with the melon. Ball your cantaloupe and honeydew; enough to fill a 1/4 cup each. You’re pretty much ready to assemble. Grab a heaping handful of field greens for each plate. Sprinkle on the prosciutto, then the melon. Goat cheese is so soft you can use your hands to break off pieces and top, or cut into bite-sized pieces. Cover with your cooled candied walnuts and dress with the raspberry vinaigrette (of course, Sandrini’s uses their own house recipe, but pick your favorite). Then dive in!