Salty ham, buttery cheese, and rich almonds play up the delicate sweetness of the honey-poached quinces in this sweet-savory salad. For the best results, use Marcona almonds, which are fried salted almonds imported from Spain.
Make the poached quinces
Peel, quarter, and core each quince. Put the quinces, honey, and lemon zest in a 3-quart saucepan. Add enough water to cover the quinces by 1 inch (about 1-1/2 quarts). Bring to a boil over mediumhigh heat. Put a plate or a lid that’s smaller than the saucepan on the quinces to submerge them. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the quinces are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Let them cool in the cooking liquid.
Assemble the salads
Toss the mâche or arugula, ham, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Slice the quinces and arrange on each plate. Sprinkle the almonds and cheese on top. Drizzle each salad with 1 tsp. of the balsamic vinegar.
Make Ahead Tips
The quinces can be poached up to 2 weeks ahead. Refrigerate them in their liquid.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Scott Phillips