If Yan Could Cook. . .

Apple-Wasabi Salad with Shaved Ham

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Many eons ago, when I had a job that required creativity, my coworker Nick conceptualized this flavour combination. I don’t know his last name or where he works now, but he burns on as one of the happiest people I have ever known. He once sent his girlfriend a salad with a large heart made out of cherry tomatoes.

I don’t remember specifically what went in his version, but I remember watching him pour apple juice into the food processor and asking what he was making.

“Apple-Wasabi vinaigrette.”



My reaction, I think, was pretty natural: ewww. After arguing for a while we ended up with a salad with crispy leeks and a rose of shaved ham on top. For whatever reason, he cajoled me into being the first one to taste it. I went in head-first, with a rich forkful of ham.

He watched me chewing thoughtfully. “This…is…awesome,” I said, slowly.

He pulled out a leaf with his hand, popped it in his mouth, and strutted away, shouting, “I’m a genius!” and startling the pastry chef.

Tonight I made it again, for memory’s sake. For the vinaigrette, I used apple juice, wasabi paste, sugar, and red wine vinegar (tiny splashes of each), adding plenty of oil slowly into the blender. In the salad: romaine and iceberg lettuce, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and slices of granny smith apple. And, of course, shaved ham. Amazing!

Fair warning: this salad is filling, deceptively heavy. I can see the wheels in your head turning: what, fruit and lettuce? Trust me. Do not underestimate the capacity for nuts, seeds, deli meat, and oil-based dressings to make you want to pass out with sweet, fatty goodness.

The photo – she’ll be comin’.


Written by skimfu

September 10, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Pork, Salad

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