Sunday, July 15, 2012

Middle of July

As I'm writing these words, it is raining outside. Not a torrential rainfall but the kind of drizzle that reminds you of the first days of autumn rather than summer. So before I get even more confused and start taking my winter clothes back out of storage, I better start talking about summer fruits. Because they are the only thing right now that can convince me we're indeed in the middle of July.






These past few days, I have been eating fruits like a maniac. I'm compensating for the lack of sunshine and I'm devouring them like there's no tomorrow.






You know how when you buy fruit you can never be certain they're going to taste good? It's like when you first meet a guy. You can never be sure about him until that first kiss. He may look good, he may smell good, he may even feel good, but you can never know until you have gotten a taste of his lips or, in the case of fruit, a bite of their juicy flesh.






This week, I bought the most luscious and delicious wild peaches, nectarines and cherries. I'm sure it was a coincidence. I'm sure that if I go back to the same stall at the market next Saturday, the fruits I buy will be flops.






The quest for the perfect fruit is eternal, so as long as I have some good specimens, I better get the most out of them, right?
I told you about this salad a while back and I have been enjoying it a great deal lately.






It's a stunning salad with a wonderful combination of flavors, colors and textures. Everything you're looking for in a summery salad, really. Sweet and crunchy cherries, salty jamón Serrano, crispy radishes, peppery rocket, creamy goat's cheese and a pungent Dijon mustard vinaigrette.






If you're living in any part of the world that's experiencing a heat wave right now, like my beloved home country of Greece is, then you'll appreciate the refreshing qualities of this salad. I, on the other hand, while I'm enjoying it, I'm daydreaming of sunnier days that I hope will very soon come.











Summer Green Salad with Cherries, Jamón Serrano and Goat's Cheese

You can use any type of cured ham you like in this salad. I particularly like Serrano ham because of its deep and intense yet smooth flavor and its nutty aroma.

Serve it with some crusty bread and a bottle of good, dry white wine or a dry fino sherry.






Yield: 2 generous servings for lunch or 4 salad servings

Ingredients

for the vinaigrette
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp red wine vinegar
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

for the salad
100 g small, tender lettuce leaves or any other type of green salad leaves you like
100 g rocket leaves
5 radishes, thinly sliced
100 g jamón Serrano, in thin slices
200 g fresh, sweet cherries
100 g fresh, soft goat's cheese

Special equipment: cherry pitter (optional)


Preparation

make the vinaigrette
In a small bowl, add the mustard, the vinegar and the olive oil. Mix well with a fork or small whisk. Add some salt and pepper and give the vinaigrette a taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

make the salad
Using a cherry pitter (or in any other way you know how), pit the cherries and cut them in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.

Rinse the lettuce and rocket leaves under cold, running water and if there are any big leaves, chop them. Drain the leaves, dry them and place them in a large salad bowl or platter.
Add the sliced radishes and cherries and toss the salad.
Drape the Serrano ham slices over the salad leaves and crumble the goat's cheese over the whole lot.
Drizzle over the vinaigrette and serve immediately.





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14 comments:

  1. That salad looks amazing! Going to try making it tomorrow with a few Brazilian tweaks since i cant get everything here! Thanks for the inspiration and im sending some sunshine your way!

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  2. OMG, What I wouldn't give for cheese and fruit! We are in South Korea and the veggies are in abundance and inexpensive at the moment...but cheese and fruit...YUM but pretty much unobtainable.. or expensive. Also, lettuce like that, it just isn't season.
    Keep posting these pictures and do know every time you post, I will be drooling :)
    www.adventuresweseek.com

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  3. What a great summer salad! It is so refreshing and, at the same time, satisfying.

    I know exactly what you mean about having perfect fruit one week, only to be disappointed the next. Luckily, I have had a few good weeks in a row... good peaches and melons, specifically. ~ David

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  4. I love fruit in salads, in fact today was so hot that I had a Dakos salad with fruit for lunch as a main dish.

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  5. This looks so summer perfect. I need to find some jamón Serrano.

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  6. Fresh fruit...peaches, blackberries, blueberries, mangoes....I love them all. Especially in salads. There is nothing more refreshing on a hot, sultry summer evening.

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  7. Oh wow! This salad has made me look so forward to one of the best things about Summer - the fruit! Thank you, this salad made me smile :)

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  8. Lovely salad! I didn't know where to post this (Greek or English), but here should be fine! If you are interested, I nominated you for an award. Here the details: http://fortheloveoffeeding.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/roast-lamb-leg-with-potatoes-award/

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  9. zanna — thanks! We need it over here. It is still rainy...

    adventuresweseek — I will :)

    David — I had the most delicious melon the other day... I can't wait for my first watermelon.

    Ivy — dakos is the best!

    Denise — you'll definitely like it.

    Teresa — oh yes.

    Anna — I'm so happy for that!

    Villy — thank you so much!

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  10. this is my kind of salad, to be sure. a variety of elements, all in harmony. the serrano ham/dijon vinaigrette countered by the bright sweet fruits--wonderful.

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  11. Cherries is always our number one favourite summer fruit. We always eat them as it is or as desserts but never eat them in the form of salad or savouries. Your salad looks great!

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  12. Nice recipe. Looks wonderful and delicious.

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  13. As you said it Magda the heat here is so much I eat salads like crazy! This one is right up my alley!

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  14. beautiful salad. So simple too! I actually have fresh cherries now, from the US. It's not local but I can't help buying them :)

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