French Country Salad


For this French-style composed salad, sliced ham and sauteed apple are presented with Gruyere, balsamic onions, rustic bread, and Boston lettuce dressed in tangy Dijon vinaigrette.


For the dressing

  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup walnut halves, toasted and finely chopped

For the salad

  • 8 cipollini onions (about 4 ounces), peeled and halved if desired

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium apple (preferably Golden Delicious), cored and cut into ½-inch-thick slices

  • 8 slices French cooked ham or boiled ham

  • 1 head Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated

  • 3 ounces Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

  • 8 slices rustic bread, for serving


  1. Make the dressing: Whisk champagne vinegar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking until emulsified. Stir in walnuts. Season with pepper. Set aside.

  2. Stir onions, balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a skillet; season with pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have absorbed most of the liquid, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Let onions cool.

  3. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple; cook, flipping once, until just beginning to brown and soften, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat; set aside.

  4. To serve, arrange 2 slices of ham on each of 4 plates. Toss lettuce with dressing; divide among plates. Arrange cheese and apple slices on top, evenly dividing among plates. Garnish each plate with 2 onions. Serve with bread.

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