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!



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