This dried fruit salad is very versatile. Choose the ingredients according to your taste. However always use dried fruits in this salad, they add a luxurious texture and a certain richness. The other fruits and vegetables can change according to the season or your whims.
- 1 ounce raisins
- water (as needed)
- 4 ounce haricots vert (trimmed on the stem end)
- ice (as needed)
- kosher salt (as needed)
- olive oil (as needed according to the size of your pan)
- 4 (3‑inch) sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup halved grapes
- 8 dried apricots (cut into ¼ inch dice)
- ½ small red onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 1 lemon (juice only)
- 1 treviso (or radicchio or other bitter Italian leafy vegetable)
- 1 ounce pine nuts (toasted)
- black pepper (to taste)
Place the raisins in a small heat-proof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Set aside at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. Drain before using.
Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and add haricots vert. Blanch them until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes and no more. Quickly drain and then plunge them into the prepared ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry. (Haricots vert can be blanched 1 day ahead, drained and patted dry, covered and refrigerated until ready to use.)
Pour about 1 inch of olive oil into a very small saucepan; place over high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer add one rosemary sprig to the hot oil. It should sizzle, but not burn. Fry the rosemary about 30 seconds, just until the color changes but before it begins to brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining rosemary sprigs. Remove oil from heat and set aside to cool. Retain it for the dressing.
Lay the prosciutto slices in a single layer along the bottom of heavy bottomed non-stick or cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and fry the slices until crisp, turning once. If the slices want to curl too much try weighting them down with a bacon press or a slightly smaller pan. Watch them closely. They can go from crisp to burned easily. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Once cool, crumble into bite-sized bits.
Place the raisins, haricots vert, halved grapes, diced apricots and onion slices in a large bowl. Roll the fried rosemary sprigs between your fingers allowing the leaves to fall from the stems into the bowl. Discard stems. Add the lemon juice and 5 tablespoons of the cooled rosemary scented olive oil; stir to combine.
Slice the treviso crosswise into ¼ inch strips, separating and discarding any pieces of core as you work. Add the strips to the salad bowl; toss to combine.
Divide salad among 4 plates (2 if serving as a main course) and top with crumbled fried prosciutto, toasted pine nuts and a grind of black pepper. Serve immediately.