Watermelon, Manchego and Serrano Ham Salad sounds interesting, right? This salad is amazing. I was taught to make it by Chef Mario Campollo, this is his recipe. Well, sort of… I changed a few things on the night I made this salad at home. His original recipe calls for Iberico ham, he was teaching us Spanish dish recipes, so he used ingredients from Spain such as Iberico ham, Pedro Ximénez wine and Manchego cheese. I used Serrano Ham instead, because that’s what I had. You could also use prosciutto, which of course is Italian… but I think it could work. Here is a picture of Chef Campollo that Kitty took while we were at the cooking class.
This is ideal for a special occasion. This is not your average salad. Since we are all friends here, and we can talk about these things I must warn you, the price of the Pedro Ximénez bottle is high. Edith from EPI Foods and I were excited to try this recipe at home, we went straight to our Spanish gourmet store to get our bottle of Pedro Ximénez, Iberico ham and Manchego cheese and then… Screech!!! Pricy stuff. If you have a friend who shares your passion for food, you can share the expense and split the bottle. Just an idea.
The wine reduction, is actually made with Pedro Ximénez. Straw wine, or raisin wine, is a wine made from grapes that have been dried to concentrate their juice, Pedro Ximénez is such a wine. You can also use any sweet dessert sherry (Jeréz) if you have trouble finding this specific brand.
Watermelon, Manchego and Serrano Ham Salad with Pedro Ximénez Reduction
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe from Chef Mario Campollo
2 cups of watermelon, cut into medium sized cubes.
2-oz. Serrano Ham
2 plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cherry tomatoes
2-oz. Manchego cheese, sliced
1 cup mixed green leaves
2 cups of Pedro Ximénez wine
Salt and Pepper to taste
- In a small pot, the smallest you can get your hands on, bring the 2 cups of Pedro Ximénez to a slow boil. Let it reduce for about 20 minutes, until it has a honeylike texture.
- In a medium sized bowl, place the rest of the ingredients: watermelon, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green leaves, manchego cheese, ham, and season with salt and pepper. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil. Toss to coat.
- Arrange all the ingredients in a serving plate and drizzle the Pedro Ximénez reduction on top.
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