My daughter found this recipe years ago and it became one of the favorite salads in our family. She always makes it following the original to the letter. I like variations. Three ingredients (I do not add cheese) — greens (with arugula or arugula only), fresh fruit slices (apple or pear), and crispy cured pork (panchetta, coppa, capocollo, proscuitto, bacon) — plus classic French salad dressing make a quick, delicious, beautiful, and light meal. I featured this salad last Wednesday on French Crepes Party for my neighbors. Judging by speed it was finished, everybody loved it. This salad is perfect for after-Thanksgiving light meal.
The original recipe calls for arugula. I like mixing arugula with other colorful beautiful leafy greens. If you are a big fan of arugula like me, go for Trader Joe’s Wild Arugula in this salad.
Over the years I tried different varieties of apples and pears. My favorite choice is D’Anjou pears.
Coppa or Capocollo are my favorite cured meats here for the looks. They can be substituted with more expensive and elegant prosciutto or down-to-earth bacon (see how I prep bacon for better presentation here). Cured meats should be sliced very thin and carefully fried till crisp. It takes a couple of minutes even if you make this salad for a big crowd. You just need a large skillet on medium heat and work batches, cooking one layer at a time. When done, place crispy slices on paper towel to remove extra fat. It can be done in advance. Keep crispy meat in airtight container till serving or serve immediately.
I make a dressing for this salad to my taste. It is slightly different every time based on ingredients I have available. It is always a mix of mild smokey mustard, honey, wine vinegar or/and white fruity balsamic vinegar, and EV olive oil plus seasoning. When I use arugula only, there is no need for mustard component in the dressing.