The inspiration for this salad was, if you can believe it, cafeteria food.
Remember that trip to Zurich? At Tim’s office, I had a tiny layered salad similar to this, served in a shot glass. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to reproduce it on a larger scale back home.
The thing about this salad is, it’s like a full meal: you get the meaty component, the green component, and at the end, the sweet component. The layers only mix with each other selectively, so each bite is unique.
Feel free to use whatever greens you like, but I love the peppery arugula snuggling up against the smoky ham, and the way the slightly bitter, slightly sweet Little Gem mixes with the tomatoes and strawberries.
Layered Summer Salad
I made these in two tall drinking glasses, but these would also be cute served in smaller glasses as hors d’oeuvre at a party.
Makes two servings.
2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pint strawberries
1 head Little Gem lettuce
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of arugula
1-2 slices of coppa (or any other thinly sliced smoked ham)
Make the vinaigrette: quickly whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt and two or three grinds of pepper.
Hull the strawberries. If they’re huge, cut them into halves or quarters. Split them between the glasses.
Cut the Little Gem from tip to root in 1/2 inch slices and separate the leaves. Toss the lettuce with half of the vinaigrette and layer them in the glasses.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, season them with a pinch of salt and pepper and add them to the glasses.
Dress the arugula in the other half of the vinaigrette and layer in the glasses.
Cut the coppa into thin strips and top the salads.
Music to cook by: Nothing Better [Postal Service // Give Up]