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Escarole and Ham Salad

1/2 c Vegetable oil or olive oil
30 lg Garlic cloves, ; peeled
1/2 lb Country ham, ; cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 lg Head escarole, washed and dried, torn or; cut into bit 1 lg Head Romaine, washed and dried, torn or; cut into bite 2 tb Finely chopped thyme or basil; (optional) 1 c Red wine vinegar Freshly ground black pepper

Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Add more oil as needed. Add the country ham and toss briefly to coat and marry the flavors. Set aside until needed, up to 1 day. When ready to serve, reheat the oil, garlic, and ham mixture. When hot, add the lettuce and toss for 1 to 2 minutes, until well coated with the juices and slightly wilted. Taste. Add the herbs, vinegar, and pepper as needed.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings




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