Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad

Wheat berries paired with spring produce (shaved asparagus, watercress) and savory, salty jamón ibérico and machego cheese. 

Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad

Hey guys, guess what? Another salad. It has been a week since we posted a salad recipe, hence... And as you know, we don't do boring salads. We pretty much use 'salad' loosely. Like when you say "cool". "Cool" is great because you can say it when someone's a dumbass telling a terrible story, but also when you're serious about how awesome something as you realize you have become out of touch with current linguistic pop culture. So...."salad".

While there is no obvious lettuce, we are using watercress, shaved asparagus and small pieces of raw green bean. Which sound very weird out of context, but truly, these spring veggies work wonders together. And as always, since these ingredients are raw and selected for their best self flavor profile, you really have to find the best versions available. For example, these asparagus, are not my best life asparagus. They're a little too big and have a bit too much sulfur smell happening. If you also end up with less than stellar asparagus, or any veggie that's a bit difficult, my advice is to compensate in the dressing area with a touch of sugar (we've got honey happening in this dressing, so I ended up adding a touch more once I had the asparagus shaved and knew what I was working with). The green beans on the other hand were heaven. 

Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad
Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad
Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad
Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad

Beyond the veg we've bulked the salad up with wheat berries. They're not a grain we ever have in the house but a smaller, fluffier grain wouldn't have been what this recipe needed. Wheat berries have a great aroma and are incredibly sturdy so I'm interested to see what else we can do with them. 

And for the tasty bits, this salad is topped with jamón ibérico and manchego cheese. Originally we really wanted to use country ham (It's the prosciutto of the South and it is Chris's favorite thing from his childhood. Except monster truck rallies or Ninja Turtles maybe.) We had some country ham in our fridge but it ended up just being a bit past it's prime (ANGUISH). Our local grocers don't carry it, so I ran to the store for a substitute: jamón ibérico. 

Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad

Spring Jamón Ibérico Asparagus Salad 

serves 2

/// Ingredients ///

  • 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries
  • 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 cup manchego cheese shavings (loosely filled)
  • 1/2 cup water cress
  • 1/3 cup shaved asparagus
  • 1/8 cup green beans, chopped
  • sherry vinaigrette with honey, minced garlic, black pepper, sherry vinegar, olive oil
  • 1 T whole grain mustard
  • 2 oz jamoón ibérico or more (to taste, depending on how large pieces are)

/// Directions /// Prep ingredients. Toss asparagus in dressing. Set aside. On plate add wheat berries topped with layers of red onion, manchego, water cress, dressed asparagus, green beans and the jamón. Add more dressing on top if needed. OR Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Place mustard on the side for dipping, or small dollops on top of the salad. 

Spring Jamón ibérico Asparagus Salad

A word on methodology:

We recommend the asparagus shavings are tossed in dressing for two reasons: they're the most 'strong' flavor of the bunch and can use some balancing with something sweet (honey in the dressing), but also because letting them hang out in the dressing makes them more pliable and plate-able. 

We give you the option of plating in layers or tossing in a large bowl. It is plated much, much better in layers and you can place ingredients perfectly so each bite has all components. But for ease of eating if you give zero four letter words about the look, toss it all together to make each bite well mixed with dressing.

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.