Sponsored Post: #EnjoyItsFromEurope This post is brought to you by Jambon de Bayonne aka Bayonne Ham, the melt-in-your-mouth charcuterie from Europe. You’ve probably tried cured ham before, but have you had French Bayonne ham? Be sure to enter for a chance to win Bayonne ham here.
In late summer, we’re all about making the most of beautiful fresh ingredients. These savory zucchini noodles with summer veggies feature Bayonne Ham, a gorgeous cured ham from France.
What’s special about Bayonne Ham?
Bayonne ham, is one of Europe’s best-known cured hams. Lucky for us, it’s easily available in the states, too. I’ve long loved adding to charcuterie boards, where its rich, balanced flavors shine bright on their own. It also makes a great ingredient to add a pop of umami to a wide variety of dishes.
Bayonne ham has Protected Geographical Indication status, a European designation that indicates quality and respect for the product’s geographic origin. It’s made exclusively from pigs born in the Southwest of France and fed with maize, and it’s cured with pure white salt from a saline spring in Salies-de-Béarn. Bayonne Ham is cured in the Ardour basin, tucked between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountains.
How is Bayonne ham made?
First things first: Bayonne Ham is the product of artisan traditions dating back a thousand years. Isn’t that amazing? It makes me feel almost honored to eat it.
And here’s a little bit about those traditions:
It takes an average of 10 months to make a Bayonne ham.
Whole fresh hams are rubbed with salt and then covered with a thick layer of salt and put in a salting tub.
Then the hams are hung in a souillarde, a “back kitchen” that’s kept very cool to simulate winter temperatures.
Next, the hams are hung from a beam in drying chambers. To control the rate of drying, a mixture of flour and lard is applied to the hams in a process called pannage. After many months, the hams are tested by expert “noses” to ensure Bayonne Ham’s characteristic sweet, balanced flavors and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
What we love about this recipe
Eating in August is pure, unadulterated joy, and this easy recipe makes expert use of late-summer abundance. Zucchini noodles keep things light, while fresh corn and tomatoes melt together with a splash of olive oil and some simple shallot, garlic, and capers to create an impromptu sauce. Along with some fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated cheese, Bayonne Hamadds a luscious, savory depth to the meal without overpowering the veggies.
Be sure to enter for a chance to win Bayonne ham here.
- 3 pounds zucchini (about 4 large or 6 medium)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium ears corn
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 ounces Bayonne Ham
- Small handful fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, for serving
- Trim the ends off the zucchini and cut into noodles according to the instructions on your spiralizer. Line two rimmed sheet pans with thick layers of paper towels. Spread half of the zucchini noodles onto each pan and sprinkle with the salt. Cover with another thick layer of paper towels and press gently. Leave noodles to dry while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Warm olive oil over medium heat in a very large pan or wide, shallow pot. (A 5-quart Dutch oven, a 12-inch frying pan with high sides, or even a wok would all work well.) Add shallot, garlic, and capers, and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of them have burst.
- While tomatoes cook, cut the kernels from the corn cobs. Add corn kernels and chickpeas to pan and cook for about two minutes, until warmed through.
- Pat zucchini noodles dry with the paper towels and stir noodles into the vegetable mixture in the pan. (Tongs work really well if you have them.) Cook until noodles are crisp-tender, just a couple of minutes. The tomatoes and zucchini will create a bit of delicious sauciness in the bottom of the pan. Stir this to coat the noodles. Remove pan from heat and divide noodles and saucy vegetables among wide, shallow serving bowls.
- Cut slices of Bayonne Ham into long, thin strips, about four per slice. Divide strips among serving bowls. The residual heat from the noodles will warm the ham just enough to be beautifully tender and flavorful, without cooking it.
- Garnish each bowl with some basil, freshly ground black pepper, and grated cheese.