Arugula Salad w/Crispy Prosciutto, Grilled Halloumi, Balsamic Glaze, & Papaya Seed Dressing

Hey there, remember me? If not, I get it--it's been a minute. And I'm so sorry for that but there have been a couple changes in our lives as of late. If we're friends on Instagram (and if we're not, we should be!!), you know that Moses and I have been down in Southern California. What you may not know is that I recently celebrated my last day at the wonderful company I was working for and that Moses and I will be relocating down to sunny Southern California at the end of this month!!! Which of course leads to questions like, What am I going to do with all my sweaters? And why did I give all my sandals away to Goodwill last year?

I kiiidd, ok not really, I did ask those questions but the bigger question that monopolized my time was, where will we live?! And let me tell you, that question, now that is a question that really weighs on a person. Especially when it is your sole job to find a place and you've got the world's pickiest tenant viewing each place with you (clue: Moses, Vienna and I were the only ones looking, and it wasn't Vienna). The good news is that we found a spot, HURRAHHHH!!! but the bad news is that now we (I) have to pack. And I'm terrible at packing. I really am. You know there are some people (*cough* *Moses* *cough*) who speed through it and pack each box perfectly and efficiently and then there's me. I'm one of those people that takes an hour to pack a box and can't guarantee that it's been packed as well as it could have been. So I have that to look forward to in the coming weeks (yes, that's dripping in sarcasm--what can I say, I really don't like packing!!).


And while this is a little overwhelming, it's still very exciting at the same time! I am beyond excited to explore our new "hood" and have already started researching all the best spots nearby. While down south, Moses and I checked out Guisados on Sunset and it was the sh*t! Seriously good stuff being made there. My favorite was the bistek en salsa roja. So tasty. We also tried Food + Lab on Sunset and I have been dreaming about their Crispy Prosciutto & Fig Salad with Halloumi, Candied Walnut & Balsamic on Arugula ever since. It was so good. The perfect combination of savory and sweet...soft, juicy figs and crispy prosciutto. And that Halloumi!!! I'm in love with Halloumi. And now that we're back in SF, getting ready to pack up our lives and ship out South, I decided to try and make my own version since it'll be a few weeks until I'll be back down there (for good!). 

Arugula Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Black Mission Figs, Grilled Halloumi, Pluots, Balsamic Glaze & Papaya Seed Dressing

Inspired by a Food + Lab salad

Serves 2 to 4



  • 3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto


  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c. pecans
  • Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)


  • Oil (for grill)
  • 5 oz. Halloumi, sliced into 1/4" thick slices


  • 1 c. balsamic vinegar


  • 1/2 c. grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1/3 c. chopped sweet onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. papaya seeds


  • 8 figs, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 pluot, halved and sliced


  • 4 oz. baby arugula


  • Glass measuring cup
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Prep bowls
  • Heavy skillet
  • Small saucepan
  • Grill pan or outdoor grill
  • Blender
  • Tongs
  • Pastry brush
  • Spoon
  • Forks
  • Silicone spatula
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting board



  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. 
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place 2-3 inches pieces of prosciutto in a single layer on parchment lined sheet.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crunchy. Be sure to watch to make sure it doesn't burn!


  1. Combine first 4 ingredients in heavy large skillet. 
  2. Bring to boil, mixing with silicone spatula. 
  3. Boil for 1 minute and add pecans, stirring often. 
  4. Toss until syrup forms glaze on nuts, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Transfer nuts to sheet of parchment paper, quickly separating nuts with forks. 
  6. Cool. 


  1. Using pastry brush, brush grill pan or rack with oil.

  2. Grill cheese for about 45 seconds per side or until charred in spots and starting to melt.

  3. Slice each piece into matchsticks and set aside.


  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into small saucepan and heat over medium heat.

  2. Bring vinegar to a boil without reducing the heat on the stove.

  3. Once boiling, turn down heat so that boil reduces to a simmer.

  4. Stir occasionally with silicone spatula and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half. Reduce more for a syrupy consistency.

  5. Cool and store in fridge until ready to use.


  1. Blend sugar, salt, mustard and vinegar on medium until mixture is smooth.
  2. With blender on in low, add oil in a stream and blend dressing until it's emulsified.
  3. Add onion and papaya seeds and blend on medium-high power until the papaya seeds are the consistency of ground pepper.
  4. Dressing will keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks.


  1. Place 1 -2 oz. arugula (depending on serving size preference) on each plate. 
  2. Generously sprinkle candied pecans over arugula followed by sliced pluots and crispy prosciutto. 
  3. Evenly distribute grilled halloumi and fig rounds.
  4. Drizzle balsamic glaze.
  5. Dress salad or serve with dressing on the side.
  6. Enjoy!