Pea Shoots Salad with Hobb’s Speck Prosciutto, Ricotta Salata, Dates, and Tarragon Dressing

From Pass the Peas, Please


The scrumptious salad served at Mudd’s Restaurant in the spring before they closed in 2008. Opened in 1998, Mudd’s was known as San Ramon’s first “farm-to-table restaurant.”


Serves 4

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tarragon vinegar
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Sugar, salt, white pepper to taste
  • ¼ pound pea shoots
  • 12 paper thin slices of Hobb’s speck
  • Chives
  • 12 dates, pits removed and cut in quarters
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Ricotta salata

Place 4 salad plates in refrigerator to chill.

Place shallot, garlic and both vinegars in a saucepan (not aluminum). Simmer until reduced by half. Cool and then whisk together with the mayonnaise, buttermilk, crème fraîche, and tarragon. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Wash and spin the pea shoots. Bring the plates from the cooler and arrange three slices of speck on each plate along with some dates and snipped chives. Drizzle with tarragon dressing. Toss the pea shoots with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice and then place a large handful of shoots on each plate. Using a vegetable peeler, shave some ribbons of ricotta salata over each salad and serve.