Stop using watery lettuce in your salads and enhance them with high umami elements, such as mushrooms and quality ham
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 5 € pp)
- 200 g fresh porcini mushrooms
- 200 g focaccia bread
- a big bunch of rocket
- 2 slices iberian ham
- 1 tbsp EV sunflower oil
- 4 tbsp EV Olive oil
- Drops of balsamic vinegar
When I was young I hated salads. Maybe all children do. For many many years I thought that salads are the tasteless preparations which always contain lettuce badly seasoned with low quality vinegar and heavy tasting oil.
But as I grew up and started being involved with cuisine, I realized that salads are something more than a poor veggie, like lettuce and a vinaigrette sauce. Selecting a tastier leaf vegetable, such as rocket and enriching it with mushrooms, cold cuts, nuts, cheese, pieces of smoked fish etc., we can create marvellous full bodied dishes, healthy and also tasty. And very very simple and rapid to prepare.
You may already know my obsession with wild mushrooms. In my opinion, a good porcino mushroom is superior than any kobe or wagyu or any other carrion imported from 3.000 km away. A good porcino is a godly food, comparable only with ……….. With? Fuck, I find nothing to compare to porcino. OK let´s say truffle.
I wanna tell you one more thing. Start baking your own breads, buns and focaccias. And do it with first quality organic flours. The cost will be the same with the bought one, but your bread will be 1.000 times healthier and some 1.000.000 times tastier. OK, you have to practice before, but start at last.
Let´s come to our dish.
Fresh rocket is a very cheap and tasty leaf vegetable. It has a peppery and lightly pungent aroma and a crunchy texture and it offers us the base for classic salads, as the well known rocket – parmigiano.
So, we clean, wash and dry very well a big bunch of rocket.
We also clean and dry carefully the porcini mushrooms.
In a small not preheated skillet and using very low temperature we gently fry two large Iberian jamón slices. When crunchy we remove them from the skillet.
We cut the mushrooms in pieces (DO NOT slice them) and we sauté them with EV sunflower oil, without pre-salting them (we do that the very last moment) in a very hot skillet.
We prepare a vinaigrette with the olive oil, the oil of the jamón, drops of balsamic vinegar (do not use much, we do not want the balsamic to cover the porcini aromas, we just wanna give some acidity) and salt. We taste it with our tongue. How is it? Is it pleasant?
With a metal ring mould we cut two discs of focaccia. We slice the discs horizontally with a knife.
Almost ready. We place on each serving dish a sliced disc of focaccia, cut side up and fit again the ring around it. We mix well the rocket, the mushrooms and the vinaigrette and we stuff 1/4 of the mixture in the ring over the focaccia slice, pressing lightly in order to make a stable construction. We add pieces of crunchy ham, we remove the ring and we repeat the whole procedure with the other portions.