Black Forest Ham with Sour Cherries and Blackberry Vinaigrette


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • An Autumn Lunch for


Appears in

A ham-related fact with which to dazzle your lunchtime guests: in Black Forest speak, this ham is known as Schwarzwälder Schinken, which I am sure you will agree sounds a lot more appetising than ‘ham’. This is a real looker of a salad. Add some warm pumpernickel and it’s a meal already. I just dare you to serve it in lederhosen and follow it up with Black Forest Gateau...


For the Vinaigrette

  • 50 g/ oz. scant ½ cup blackberries (foraged always taste better)
  • 4–5 juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seed oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar

For the Salad

  • 150 g/ oz.mixed green salad leaves (heavy on the rocket/arugula)
  • 15 slices proper Black Forest ham (you could substitute Parma/prosciutto or Serrano)
  • 3 medium cooked beetroot, halved and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthways and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 100 g/3 ½ oz.pitted, dried sour cherries*
  • 75 g/ oz/ cup pumpkin seed kernels


Blend (or crush) the berries with the juniper, orange juice and vinegar, trickling the oil in at the end so it forms an emulsion of sorts. Add the thyme and season to taste, then set aside for at least an hour (better still overnight).

When you’re ready to serve, scatter the salad leaves on a big platter. Tear the ham into strips, and scatter it over the salad along with the beetroot, carrot, onion and cucumber. Add the cherries and pumpkin seeds. Shake up the dressing (removing the thyme sprig) and dribble it over the salad. Mahlzeit (elsewhere in Europe, they might say, ‘bon appétit’)!

* Dried sour cherries

These are an Iranian speciality, and are usually lightly salted. If using these, add a little less salt when seasoning your dressing. If you can’t find them, use unsweetened cranberries.