red leaf lettuce salad with prosciutto and goat cheese spirals


Prosciutto & goat cheese spirals

I wasn’t going to serve a salad at Thanksgiving this year.  It’s unnecessary really, with the amount of food that gets served.  My husband would say that it just equals more plates to wash.    But there is a comfort level for me, of sitting down for a few minutes and gathering my thoughts before serving the whole meal.  This year was no different.  I was super organized given how late I shopped for everything.  Maybe it is because I have gotten more comfortable with hosting Thanksgiving over the years.  But inevitably, something goes awry, and this year it was my new oven.  At some point between heating up the cranberry sauce in the microwave (which doubles as a convection oven I have yet to use), and checking on the turkey in the regular oven, the display message on my oven panel decided to change.  It wanted to know what my probing temperature was.  The jokes ensued, but I wasn’t laughing.  We couldn’t shut it off or cancel out of it.  I mean really, now?  My husband and my sister were hovering over the panel, and if I kept hearing that damn beep one more time I was going to lose it.  It was like a button that said ‘press me‘ and that they did – over and over and over again.  So I tried the circuit breaker and shut the oven down, only to be faced with it remembering what it was doing prior to being shut down when I reset the circuit.  So I retreated to my office to look for the stupid user’s manual, but I couldn’t find anything on probing temperatures.  I went downstairs to find my husband and my sister now with their heads in the oven, cracking jokes about looking for probes and if the probe looked big enough….I think the exact term was “prob-y enough”…shoot me now.  I finally found one line in the manual – not on how to cancel out of this mess – but how to enter the non-existent probing temperature and hit bake, then off, and just like that, we were back to normal.  My side dishes then got to finish heating up, and so it was time to sit at the table.  I was so happy to just serve a nice salad that didn’t need to be heated or baked – just served.  And I had my two minutes of sanity back.

prosciutto and goat cheese spirals (adapted from Bon Appetit)

8  oz. plain goat cheese
2  TB, plus 1/2 cup hazelnut oil
1  tsp fresh rosemary, minced and divided
2  tsp freshly grated lemon peel, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
red pepper flakes
10-12  imported prosciutto (aiming for nice 3 inch wide by 7 inches long slices), thinly sliced
1  cup stemmed baby spinach leaves
3  TB sherry wine vinegar
3  TB shallots, minced
1  tsp sugar
10  cups red leaf lettuce, coarsely chopped and cleaned

ingredients

get started on the salad:

note:  I wash my chopped lettuce in the salad spinner and divide onto the 8 plates.  I have been serving the dressing at the table so people can decide how much or how little they want.  The original recipe calls for you tear the lettuce and dress the salad before serving.  Either way is fine.

Coarsely chop the lettuce and clean in a salad spinner or colander.  Dry on paper towels if needed.  Divide lettuce onto 8 plates.
In a medium bowl, stir together the goat cheese, 2 TB hazelnut oil, 1/2 tsp of rosemary and 1 tsp of lemon peel.  Season with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

rosemary

goat cheese mixture
Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter.  Place 1 slice of prosciutto in center of plastic wrap.  (If slices are torn or too thin, add a second slice to add stability to the roll – which is a good reason to get more prosciutto than you need).  Spread evenly, about 2 TB of goat cheese mixture over the prosciutto slice, covering as much as you can.  Add a single layer of stemmed baby spinach on top of the goat cheese mixture.  Place another slice of prosciutto on top of the layer of spinach.  Repeat the cheese and spinach and prosciutto layers twice more, ending with a prosciutto slice.  Starting at the long side, lift the plastic wrap up and over the layer to start rolling up jelly roll style.  This can be done with quarter turns.  Add a final slice of prosciutto, if needed, to cover the seam of exposed cheese and spinach.  Wrap up tightly in the plastic wrap.  Proceed with remaining prosciutto, cheese and spinach to make a second roll.  Chill until firm, about six hours.

layerswrapped roll

Whisk together the sherry vinegar, shallots, sugar and remaining rosemary, lemon peel and 1/2 cup hazelnut oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
Unwrap rolls and slice each of the rolls into twelve spirals, about 1/2 inch thick.  Place three rolls onto each of the eight plates of lettuce and serve with the dressing.

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soppressata radicchio rolls


soppressata appetizer platter

Ok, so my man still likes his antipasto.  Then again, so do I.  When my husband and I were dating, he was responsible for food on game day (insert sport), and so in turn, we had a loaf of italian bread from the oven, a brick of provolone, some sliced meats I had never heard of (it took time to pronounce prosciutto), beer, and a squeeze bottle of hot deli mustard (ok, so and I had another bottle, but that was something different…to drink…)  To be honest, nothing much has changed – except I mainly run the kitchen now.  I have tried over the years to lighten up the feast  (except for the Dallas games, which I turn a blind eye to and make whatever he wants), but for other entertaining, I seemed to have found the middle ground for meat eaters and those who would rather try not to devour 2500 calories in 3 hours.  This recipe is one of those that bridge the gap.  I love the fact that I found this recipe in the sidebar of a magazine.  I guess it caught my eye because of its simplicity, in addition to the fact that there was soppressata rolled….that made me interested.  If you know me, I like finger food, and not just a bowl of chips and salsa (which I can devour!).  I enjoy putting something out, even if it is just for my husband and me, because that is what cooking is about….having fun…taking pride…and having it taste delicious.  So on certain occasions, there is still a pile of meat put out as an appetizer, but at least it is rolled around radicchio!

soppressata radicchio rolls (adapted from Food & Wine)

24  mild soppressata slices
1 nice sized radicchio head, shredded
10  pepperoncini, chopped
2  oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1  tsp. red wine vinegar
1  tsp. extra virgin olive oil
TB pine nuts, toasted
kosher salt and ground black pepper

soppressataradicchio salad

get started on the rolls:

In a bowl, combine the shredded raddicchio, pepperoncini, goat cheese, vinegar and olive oil.  In a small cast iron skillet, toast the pine nuts for a few minutes, shaking occasionally so as not to burn.  Add to bowl and combine with radicchio mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

soppressatapepperoncini

Arrange the slices of soppressata on a work surface and mound about a tablespoon or so of the radicchio mixture on each piece.  Roll up the soppressata around the salad to form a cone.

rolls of soppressata

note:  to make this meatless, I served a portion of the radicchio salad in a bowl and served with crostini.  Just check that the salad is dressed enough to adhere to the crostini.  Also, I made this once with sliced almonds – untoasted, because I didn’t have pine nuts.

rolls with bowl

rolls with cheese plate