27 December 2008

Salad with Iberian Acorn Ham Courtesy of Nuria

Salad with Iberian Acorn Ham
Just before Christmas I received a special package from my good blogging friend Nuria of Spanish Recipes. Nuria made a list of her TOP TEN Traffic Foodie Bloggers based on her Google Analytics' traffic sources/referrals. I was one of the lucky bloggers to send her more traffic through 2008 so I received some lovely gifts from Nuria and Spanish Recipes!!! If ever you want to start your day with a smile head on over to see Nuria!!!!!

One of these things was a rare Jamón Ibérico ham. The paper-thin slices provide a rich nutty flavor and tender texture. The Spanish consume the vast majority of these hams in their own country. Some producers have waiting lists for several years for their best products.

From the moment they are born, the special black Iberian hogs destined for quality Iberian ham are treated royally. For special periods after their birth, until their sacrifice (as the Spanish say), they live, sleep and forage under the open sky in specially maintained oak forests, called "la dehesa". The pigs feast on 15 to 20 pounds of acorns or 'bellotas' per day which infuses the ham with their delicate flavour. The consistent exercise they enjoy as they forage in a free-range atmosphere is essential to the final quality of the hams.

For this special treat I decided to create rosettes with the thin slices and add them to a salad. A simple balsamic and olive oil dressing was all it required. The Iberian ham almost had the consistency of butter it was so tender. I also give you a second option to enjoy this delicacy. It is quite common to pair savory Iberian ham with beans in Spain. This recipe uses chickpeas but you could substitute canned cooked cannellini, flageolet or cranberry beans, whichever you have to hand.
Thank you so much Nuria for allowing us to have a taste of Spain with this special gift!!!! Of course if you can't find Iberian ham at your specialty stores try Serrano ham.

**Salad with Iberian Ham **

250g mixed salad leaves, including rocket, red chard and baby spinach
1 tablespoon fresh chervil sprigs
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or sherry vinegar
300g thinly sliced Iberian ham
freshly ground salt and black pepper

Place mixed salad leaves in a large bowl and toss with the chervil, parsley and chives.

Whisk the olive oil with the vinegar. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the salad leaves and herbs and toss well.

Pile the salad into a mound in the centre of a large serving platter. Arrange the slices of ham around it, scrunching it loosely into rosettes if you like for presentation. Grind over black pepper to taste before serving.


*Iberian Ham with Garlic and Chickpeas**
Gordon Ramsay

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
4 ounces canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
sea salt and black pepper
8 slices Iberian acorn ham

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the garlic slices and cook for a minute to allow the flavours to infuse. Tip in the chickpeas, increase the heat to medium, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Warm through, stirring occasionally, then take the skillet off the heat.

Drape the ham slices on a serving platter and spoon over the chickpeas, garlic and oil from the skillet. Serve warm.

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. That was a great treat Val and Nuria is so sweet to send all over the world Iberian Ham. I was lucky to get some a few months back. Hope you had a great time.

  2. The Iberian ham sounds delicious.

  3. The salad looks delicious!

  4. A delightful salad!



  5. Wow! So much information Val...you certainly did your research! I received mine too and will blog about it later. Nuria is such a sweetie!

  6. I have never heard of Iberian Ham and now I feel I can't live without one. It's so intriguing! Thanks for the knowledge.

  7. I'm sure you were as excited as I was to receive Nuria's package in the mail.

    I love the jammon blossoms you made for the salad...a wonderful way to highlight this fine cured meat.

  8. I'm putting together a database of Gordon Ramsay recipes and I haven't seen this one before, could you please tell me where it comes from.

    Also, I love the site, especially the scenery at the top of the page. I'm reading the Grumpy's Honeybunch posts now!

    Keep up the great work

  9. How pretty & artistic that salad is...beautifully plated Val & full of flavour (& Nuria)! Yes, she brings a smile to my face too, always...HOLA!!

  10. I can barely resist to eat it straight from the packet. The chickpea recipe sounds particularly interesting.

  11. Ooh, you are one lucky lady!! Iberian acorn-fed ham is one of the best things ever to have passed my lips - eating my first slice was a total eureka moment when you go "so THAT'S what all the fuss is about!!" If I'm lucky enough to have some in the house, I also cook up a batch of fava beans (double podded), toss them with olive oil and then scatter some torn jamon Iberico over it. Absolute simple bliss.

  12. You have a way with combining flavors. This salad sounds wonderful.

    I'm so jealous of you guys that got Nuria's ham! Wahhhhhhh!

  13. The ham (and the garlic and chickpea dish) sound delicious!

  14. Hi,

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  15. A nice and simple way to enjoy this delicious ham! I was lucky enough to eat it at one of the few restaurants in the country (at the time) that had it. It was so delicious! You can definitely taste the acorns. Mmm.

  16. Hola Beauty!!!! He, he, there you are with the story behind and the info for all the people not in the know! Great research Val!

    I'm happy you enjoyed it and I think that both dishes suggestions are great!!!!!

    If you want, we can do a package exchange in the future ;D


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