Best Ham Salad (2006)

Amuse Restaurant & Lounge

Ham is a cured cut from a hog's hind leg. In Italy, where it's salt-cured and pressed it's called prosciutto, which would make a really cool name for a Ferrari. Try this: F355 Prosciutto Spider. Except it would never fly in the U.S. market because nobody wants to drive a 500-horsepower hog shank, even if the name does sound cool in Italian. Anyway, most chefs can't think of anything to do with it, so they wrap cantaloupe chunks with it and call it a dish. But at Amuse the prosciutto vibrates, just like that Ferrari (in theory). Pinches of it are arranged in a row on a long narrow plate over gauzy triangles of manchego cheese. Needles of chive and julienne endive protrude from the folds like chopsticks, and strips of roasted pepper are draped over the top, playing off the cured sweetness. Vrooom.


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