• salad greens
  • chives
  • crumbled hard boiled egg
  • mustard vinaigrette
  • Iberico Ham aka Pata Negra (what you don’t have any of that lying around?!?)

A secret source recently brought me three sealed packages of Iberico Ham smuggled from the duty free in Madrid. The duty free sales person actually told my source that it would be confiscated if the customs people found it (which is no laughing matter because this stuff is EXPENSIVE).  But the brave ham smuggler  hid it in his bag and boldly said “no” when the agent asked if he had any meat.

I love love love Iberico Ham. There is nothing like getting a plate of it in Madrid with a mini beer late at night. The places that serve it are lined in whole hams and serve it freshly sliced and laid out an a little plate.  It’s sweet and salty and amazing. Of course, the kind you get at the airport isn’t as amazing but it still has a distinctive flavor that is worth the hassle of getting in the country.

Normally I serve my precious packages of ham when company comes over. Laid out on a plate just all by itself, it’s a party on a plate! However I found myself in a unique position when I got my latest batch: I had been so stingy with my previous ham windfall that I had a months old package of Iberico lurking in back of the fridge. What a lucky person I am to have too much ham! I decided that I would experiment and try putting it in a salad and thus this salad was born. It was great, the distinctive flavor transported me back to Madrid which was a great place to mentally visit over lunch.