There´s no such thing as a free lunch? Well it was as good as.This weekend I popped out to the shop to pick up some milk and on the way back passed a hedgerow laden with ripe pomegranates.Branches were bending under the weight of abundant fruit and many of the fruits themselves had split open,a sure fire sign that a pomegranate is ripe and ready for the picking.So pick them I did,well I made a bold start as this hedgerow ran for several hundred metres so I shall have to return to finish my plundering, as nobody else appeared to show any interest or want them.What a scoop, they are not even in the market place yet.Their loss my gain.
Serrano Ham and Rocket Salad
with Requeijao and Pomegranate Salsa This is very much an autumn salad – walnuts and pomegranates are perfect right now. Simple in its execution and not too heavy, it is a lovely way to begin a meal.This vibrant dish, layered with wild rocket leaves, soft dollops of fresh Portuguese curd cheese and fine slivers of salty serrano ham,dressed with a pomegranate salsa and topped with chopped walnuts is the sort of composed salad that showcases seasonal ingredients.
1 large shallot,finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Flor de sal
2 tablespoons home made pomegaranate molasses
1/2 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
seeds of 1 small pomegranate
freshly ground pepper
1 handful per portion of wild rocket leaves
2 tablespoons of flat leaf parsley chopped
100g very finely sliced Serrano ham
crumbled requeijao ( or other fresh moist curd cheese)
handful of chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl mix the chopped shallot with the lemon juice and Flor de sal and leave to rest for 5 minutes.Stir in the pomegranate seeds, pomegranate molasses, parsley, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.(You can make this ahead and refrigerate overnight).Toss all the rocket leaves in a small salad bowl with the pomegaranate salsa and then arrange a handful of dressed leaves on each plate.top with shreds of the Serrano ham followed by the dollops of crumble curd cheese finish with a scattering of chopped walnuts and a further soonful of the pomegarante dresing over and around the salad.