Arugula Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

It’s not terribly often that I have a dish that makes me want to have a mini fit, but when it happens, I try to do everything I can to extend the excitement.  I had a salad similar to this one at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, Marseille.  Between the tender prosciutto, warm buttered croutons and luxe truffle oil dressing, I wanted to hug a stranger and do a jump kick for joy.  Truthfully, though the taste is haute, the ingredients themselves are not terribly expensive or hard to come by.  With the truffle oil as your only splurge, the real luxury comes from the lovely combination of flavors and texture.  Making fresh croutons and serving them warm on the salad is an essential part of the glory – with just a few ingredients joining the peppery bed of arugula, you want to make sure that everything is just right.  After all, the end result should be a mini fit, and for a salad to achieve that honor, it’s got to be damn good.

Arugula Salad with Truffle Vinaigrette

3-4 slices of prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 slices of crusty bread (baguette or ciabatta), cubed or torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tbs. of butter
salt and pepper
1 shallot, thinly sliced
arugula or mixed greens

1/3 c. of vegetable oil or light olive oil
4 tbs. of champagne vinegar
4 tbs. of cream
1 tbs. of truffle oil
salt and pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, cream and truffle oil.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the butter in a small skillet and toss in the bread.  Toast over medium heat until crusty and browned on all sides.  Season with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad by tossing together the arugula, prosciutto, croutons, shallots and just enough dressing to lightly cover the greens.  Serve immediately.