Let’s face it—it’s too hot to turn on the oven for the foreseeable future (here in Texas, at least). If you’re anything like me, you’re craving a refreshing salad and vibrant summer produce that require little more than some creative assembly and a drizzle of good olive oil. This Radicchio, Citrus, and Prosciutto Salad is the perfect balance of bright greens, juicy fruit, and just enough protein to make it a meal.
While salads may have a reputation as a simple, throw-together side, we’re a big proponent of salad recipes for dinner around here. And when you add some unexpected additions, they can be elevated to dinner party status. The best salads combine sweet, salty, and savory ingredients for creating that perfect bite, and this one has them all.
Read on for this salad of our dreams, which also happens to delight your retinas as much as your taste buds. After all, we eat with our eyes first.
Let’s Talk About Those Bitter Greens
The word “bitter” often gets a bad rap as a flavor to be avoided. But really, bitter ingredients are one of life’s pleasures, when they’re combined with creamy or fatty ingredients. Some perfect examples include coffee with cream, lemon with butter, and arugula with olive oil. It’s all in the balance.
For this recipe, I chose radicchio—a leafy veg that is often used in salads for its unique flavor and gorgeous color that ranges from pink to purple. (Don’t sleep on this Pink Radicchio Salad!) Its slightly bitter taste rounds out other flavors and provides a pleasant contrast to sweeter or milder ingredients.
Radicchio is also a nutritional powerhouse that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—containing vitamins C, K, and E, as well as folate and fiber.
Pro Tips for Making This Radicchio, Citrus, and Prosciutto Salad
Opt for a variety of citrus to add visual interest and unique flavors to the salad. Blood oranges or Cara Cara oranges work particularly well.
Balance the flavors
Ensure the radicchio leaves are well coated with the dressing to balance their inherent bitterness and enhance the overall flavor profile.
Make it aesthetic
When arranging the salad, aim for a visually appealing presentation showcasing the ingredients’ vibrant colors.
Elevate your protein
Don’t skimp on the Prosciutto di Parma! Its saltiness provides a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the citrus and the bitterness of the greens.
Feel free to experiment with other toppings, such as toasted pine nuts or pomegranate seeds, for added texture and flavor.