This Prosciutto Parmesan Salad is deliciously versatile, pairing well with anything from Christmas dinner to weeknight spaghetti! Its few simple ingredients bring a rustic Italian bistro feel, drizzled with a quick homemade Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette. A go-to favorite salad!
We are in love with this Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing, and are finding ways to pour it on everything! It's a quick blended dressing, incorporating amazing fresh basil and garlic flavor into every bite. It goes perfectly with this Italian inspired Prosciutto Parmesan Salad with toasted pine nuts.
Also try the basil dressing on this Blueberry Goat Cheese Salad with Candied Pecans!
This salad is an easy one with only 4 ingredients! But each of those four are good quality and boldly flavorful. A batch of the homemade Basil Balsamic Dressing is enough for 4 to 6 salads, well worth the 5 minutes it takes to make!
- Lettuce Greens - Any mixed lettuce, arugula, or baby spinach greens you like will work fine for this recipe. A 5 ounce box of lettuce mix will feed about 4 to 6 people, but you can easily adjust this recipe up or down for any size crowd.
- Prosciutto - Prosciutto is often an expensive ingredient, but the best quality and often cheapest place to buy it is at the deli meat counter. Ask them to shave it thin and not put the paper between each slice, when the paper weighs as much as the prosciutto, you don't want to be paying for both! If you love prosciutto, get a few extra slices for this Creamy Farfalle Pasta or these yummy Italian Subs!
- Parmesan Cheese - Since Parmesan cheese is one of the few important ingredients in this salad, it's best to buy a block versus the pre-shredded stuff. Use a vegetable peeler to shave big pieces from the block, and then lightly crumble them with your fingers. This will give you big chunky shavings in every bite and delicious salty flavor!
- Pine Nuts - Also a pricey ingredient but a little goes a long way. Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan to really bring out their taste.
- Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing - This full recipe is included below, but you can check out the Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing recipe post for all the details. It's made in a few minutes in a food processor or blender, with bright fresh basil flavor, and elements of sweet and savory. My favorite dressing!
See recipe card for quantities.
Step 1 - Make the Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette by adding all ingredients to a food processor or blender and drizzling the olive oil in through the feed tube with the processor running. Blend until very smooth.
Step 2 - Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Stir and toss often and don't walk away, they can burn quickly!
Step 3 - Chop the prosciutto and shave the Parmesan cheese with a vegetable peeler, then crumble the shavings with your hands. Arrange the salad on a serving platter with the lettuce, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the dressing and toss lightly just before serving. Add a few extra basil leaves to garnish.
Hint: This salad would really be good with any dressing you like, including a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette. Or try it with this Homemade Vinaigrette in a Jar, I like to always keep it on hand in the fridge!
This is a salad, so of course you can easily substitute ingredients or make additions for lots of possibilities!
To keep its Italian flare, you could add cherry tomato, cucumber, sliced red onion, kalamata olives, or jarred pepperoncinis. You could also add croutons or try it with crispy prosciutto.
In the peak of summer, you could add ripe peach slices, fresh red and yellow cherry tomatoes or grilled corn! Or make it a meal by topping it with seared sliced chicken or adding a can of white beans for extra protein.
Storage & Make Ahead Instructions
The Basil Balsamic Dressing can be made ahead of time and can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a week. Set it on the counter 15 minutes before serving so the oil can come back to room temperature. Give it a good shake!
The pine nuts can also be toasted a day in advance and kept in an airtight container on the counter.
Make Ahead - If making this salad to bring to a party, you can make it up a few hours in advance, wrap it and store it in the fridge until ready to go. Wait to add the dressing until just before serving. It is a salad, so the fresher the better, make it as close to serving time as you can!
Leftover salad that has been dressed is not very good the next day, so try only to make the amount you will eat!
What to Serve with Prosciutto Salad
We absolutely love this Prosciutto Parmesan Salad because it works well with so many occasions and meals! You can dress it up or down as a simple side dish, or bring it to a holiday party.
- Holiday Dinners - This salad can pair with ham, turkey, prime rib or New Year's Eve steaks! It makes a beautiful platter for fancy occasions!
- Weeknights - Easy and delicious, it goes well with pizza, pasta, sandwich night or soup! It also spans the seasons, this salad goes great with summer and winter meals! Try it with:
Yes! Prosciutto is not really raw but salt cured, so you can eat it straight from the deli or package. This makes it a quick go-to salad topping!
Try these favorite salad recipes!
Prosciutto Parmesan Salad With Basil Dressing
For the Salad
- 5 ounces mixed salad greens
- 5 slices prosciutto chopped
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese shaved then crumbled
- ¼ cup pine nuts
For the Dressing
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 sprigs fresh basil (about ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Add the ingredients for the dressing to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, streaming the olive oil in through the feed tube while it blends.
- Toast pine nuts in a dry pan over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Stir often and don't walk away, nuts can burn fast!
- Arrange the salad on a platter with the lettuce, chopped prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Use a vegetable peeler to shave a block of Parmesan, then crumble the shavings with your fingers. Leave some big pieces!
- Drizzle and lightly toss with the dressing just before serving. Garnish with extra basil leaves.
- This Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe will make way more than you need for this salad. Extras can be stored in a jar in the fridge for a week. Makes enough for 4 to 6 salads.