Thursday, 9 May 2013

a simple summer salad

... we're a funny lot us Brits aren't we?  The merest hint of summer sunshine and we're out in our droves... blocking country lanes... filling up beaches... dining al fresco along the banks of the river... it's as though the British have an internal alarm that rings in the depths of our minds - 'get thee out unto the roads and find your corner of the sunshine'... we know that unlike many of our international friends, if we don't make the most of it, even if it's only for just one beautiful weekend, we may not see it again for another month... it's even worth sitting in a traffic jam for 4 hours just to make it to that special chip-shop by the coast.. just to say we've had a summer...

... like a lot of us I also tend to bring the summer out in my food... if I can't make it to the beach then i'll damn well have a plate full of holiday... I was lucky enough to have been sent a selection of world-famous Iberian ham from Jamoteca and Joselito.  I actually squealed with delight as I opened the box of goodies that contained a packet of Joselito Gran Reserva Ham, cured for a minimum of 36 months, a packet of Joselito Chorizo, Joselito Gran Reserva Paleta and also some Joselito Salchichon... in all honesty I ripped open the Gran Reserva Ham without ceremony and i'm so glad I did, it was unbelievably good with a deep and sweet oaky quality that instantly took me back to Majorcan nights sitting by the Med... there's a very good reason why it's called 'the best ham in the world'

asparagus and green bean salad
you know that summer's well and truly on it's way when the British asparagus arrives in the shops... it's almost painful to think that most of supermarkets are still stocking the stuff that comes from Peru when we should all really learn to love the stuff when it's available here... and it's damn fine stuff and more than worth the wait... this salad is dressed very simply with some stunningly sweet balsamic vinegar sent to me as part of my recent rediscover italy delivery and i've served it very simply with some of the beautiful Gran Reserva Paleta... summer in an instant!

1 bunch of British asparagus
a handful of fine green beans
1 round lettuce - roughly torn
1 bunch of rocket
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
10 radish - thinly sliced
15 baby plum tomatoes - halved
olive oil
kosher salt
balsamic vinegar

very easy all this... place the asparagus and beans into boiling water and simmer gently for 5 mins until just tender

rip up everything else and place it into a bowl and once the vegetables are ready drain them douse them in olive oil and layer them onto the salad... drizzle with plenty of balsamic and serve!

fortunately for everyone, jamoteca hams can be purchased on-line wherever you are in the world it seems...

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Hee! You're absolutely right! It was sunny here yesterday and it was like "drop everything, get outside NOW, this might BE summer!" :) This salad sounds divine and perfect for fine weather.

  2. I think it's cute that you get so crazy about the summer... I mean, from someone who lives in an area were it is summer about 90% of the time, it's a strange thing for me to conceive :) lol
    The salad looks wonderful.. the perfect way to welcome in the summer!

  3. When summer arrives, it makes me so happy to finally throw off the shackles of winter. To parade around at last, in flip flops, string vest and Speedos; revelling in the freedom that it brings.

    But with that in mind, it's just as well that our summers are very short really.

    Nice salad by the way.

  4. Beautiful looking salad - that ham looks utterly divine.

  5. Save me a big plate of this, I'll be right over!!

  6. I love a salad like this. A few of the very best ingredients simply prepared. Looks delicious!

  7. This salad sounds so good & fresh! Perfect ingredients prepared simply always make the best salads, don't they?

  8. Haha yes it is very true, merest hint of sunshine and the picnic blanket is being dug out and dusted and milky white legs get bared to the sun and feet braving the flipflops!

    Your salad looks so fresh and the ham sooo good! You were very lucky to get a stash of it!

  9. Aw yum! I love all of the ingredients in this salad. Asparagus is one of my husband's favourite vegetables so I'll definitely be making this as soon as fresh Australian asparagus hits the stores (we're moving into boring winter veg right now). Love your blog... this is my first visit and I can't wait to explore more of your recipes!

  10. I also received some of that LUSH ham and I cannot wait to use it in something as divine as YOUR salad Dom!


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