Sweet, salty and creamy! We absolutely love this simple to make Grilled Apricot Salad complemented by the salty and smoky flavours of prosciutto crudo. Add some dollops of creamy goat’s cheese to round off the salad.
Why I Love Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto
Is there something you always look forward to when the season changes? When summer rolls around in Australia, I look forward to 2 things. Getting back in the ocean for some boogie boarding and summer fruits.
Mangos, apricots, nectarines, yellow watermelon, cherries, the list goes on and on. I get excited when I’m bombarded with all these gorgeous fruits as my creative juices start running and I have a million ideas in my head for the next recipe.
For this grilled apricot salad, I am combining fruit, dairy, smoked meats and vegetables.
All food groups are well represented in this salad recipe. Every ingredient complements so well with each other.
What is Prosciutto Crudo?
Do you love salads with prosciutto? Well, we certainly do and we’re going to share with you one of our favourites.
But before we do that, did you know there are 2 types of prosciutto? Yup! There is prosciutto crudo and prosciutto cotto.
Prosciutto crudo is dry-aged ham. It is made from the leg or thigh of a pig. It is never cooked, which is why it is called crudo as that means ‘raw’ in Italian and the aging process can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years.
Prosciutto crudo has a deep red colour with varying layers of fat. It is always sliced very thinly so that you can taste the intensely salty flavours as it melts in your mouth.
Prosciutto cotto is cooked ham. This is the regular ham as we know it with the pink flesh and is much less salty. It is usually brined or seasoned and then cooked under very controlled temperatures.
If you’ve ever bought prosciutto crudo from your local deli, you’ll notice that there are so many different varieties to choose from! Much like wine or cheese, the flavours are noticeably different depending on the region it is from.
The 2 main types of prosciutto crudo are prosciutto di Parma, from Parma and prosciutto di San Daniele, from San Daniele del Friuli. They are both from the northern regions of Italy with the former being saltier whilst the latter is known to have sweeter flavours.
For me, I love both and if I’m getting some for a grazing platter, I tend to choose the one with less fat. But that’s a personal choice for me as I know it’s the fat that some people absolutely love.
However, for this salad, to counteract the sweetness of the apricots, the di Parma is the better choice.
Nutritional Benefits of Apricots
Don’t you just love it when something you love to eat is also good for you? These sweet, juicy and fragrant fruits are small morsels of joy!
Here are some cool nutritional benefits of apricots to give you even more motivation to make this stone fruit salad:
- Apricots are a great source of dietary fiber and it can be consumed fresh or dried. The fruit is dissolved into the body easily and the nutrients are easily absorbed. Best of all it cleans out your intestines regularly and makes for a healthy bowel. High dietary fiber also helps with increasing metabolism rates.
- It is rich in antioxidants and helps to dispose of unwanted toxins.
- The combination of Vitamin C, A, and phytonutrients is fantastic for your skin. The presence of antioxidants also aids in slowing the ageing process. Cleanse, moisturise and apricot!
- Great source of vitamin A which helps with your vision and boosts your immune system.
- A fruit high in fiber also means it helps to reduce bad cholesterol which in turn is good for your heart.
- This fruit also produces iron and is therefore good for your blood.
- Not only do apricots have a good amount of potassium, it is also a good source of calcium. We all need the potassium to help with calcium absorption so having both in this fruit is a bonus!
- By the way, potassium also helps to regulate blood pressure.
How to Make Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto
If you have your goat’s cheese in the fridge, take it out and let it come to room temperature. Do this first as by the time you assemble the salad, the goat’s cheese will be ready.
How to Grill the Apricots
Using a sharp knife, cut the apricots in half and discard the stone.
In a medium sized mixing bowl add the apricot halves and coat it with 2 tsp of olive oil.
Using a griddle or grill pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and put on medium to high heat. Place the apricots face down for 2 minutes then turn them and grill for another 1 ½ minutes. You are after the dark grill marks.
How to Toast the Pine Nuts
Toast 2 tbsp of pine nuts in a small saucepan until golden brown. Set aside and allow it to cool.
How to Make Red Wine Vinaigrette
This is a super simple, 3 ingredient salad dressing.
In a small mixing bowl, add 3 tbsp of olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt. Mix until well combined.
How to Assemble Grilled Apricot Salad
In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the rocket and pine nuts.
Add 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette and toss until well combined.
On a serving platter, place half the rocket and pine nuts as the first layer.
Then add 4 slices of prosciutto crudo. Pick the prosciutto up in the middle, let it fall and then place it on the plate to create a “heaped” look.
Place the rest of the rocket and pine nut mixture on top.
Repeat the same process for the rest of the prosciutto on top of that.
Place the apricots around the salad with the cut side facing up to show off the grill marks.
Add dollops of goat’s cheese around the salad. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the goat’s cheese and use a second teaspoon to push it off onto the salad.
Pour the rest of the salad dressing over the salad.
Grind some fresh pepper over the top.
Serve this arugula salad with fruit immediately.
How simple is that! When apricots are in season, I urge you to grab them and make this stone fruit salad for your next gathering or even a midweek meal.
Make sure when you eat it, every mouthful has a little bit of everything as it’s the combination of flavours that makes this salad so delicious.
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Grilled Apricot Salad with Prosciutto Crudo
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- Remove the goat’s cheese from the fridge so that it can come to room temperature and softens.
- Cut the apricots in half and discard the stone. In a medium sized mixing bowl add the apricot halves and coat it with 2 tsp of olive oil.Using a grill pan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and put on medium to high heat. Place the apricots face down for 2 minutes then turn them and grill for another 1 ½ minutes. You are after the dark grill marks.
- Toast 2 tbsp of pine nuts in a small fry pan until golden brown. Set aside and allow it to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, add 3 tbsp of olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt. Mix until well combined.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the rocket and pine nuts.
- Add 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette and toss until well combined.
- On a serving platter, place half the rocket and pine nuts as the first layer.
- Then add 4 slices of prosciutto. Pick the prosciutto up in the middle, let it fall and then place it on the plate to create a “heaped” look.
- Place the rest of the rocket and pine nut mixture on top.
- Repeat the same process for the rest of the prosciutto on top of that.
- Place the apricots around the salad with the cut side facing up to show off the grill marks.
- Add dollops of goat’s cheese around the salad. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the goat’s cheese and use a second teaspoon to push it off onto the salad.
- Pour the rest of the salad dressing over the salad.
- Grind some fresh pepper over the top.
- Serve immediately.
- Persian feta is a great substitute for goat’s cheese. You’re after a cheese that is creamy in texture.
- You can use peaches and nectarines instead of apricots for this salad. In fact, you can use all 3 stone fruits if you would like to add some variety.
- Dry toasted macadamia, pistachios or peanuts can be used instead of pine nuts.
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