A ‘Ploughman’s’ lunch was very popular when I was young free and single. I would meet up with a friend at a pub not far from the office for our weekly chat over a Ploughman’s washed down with a soda water & lime juice. Back in those days I would not drink alcohol until the day’s work was over.
I swapped the cheese and butter for the salad items that my friend did not like.
lettuce leaves – washed
sharp cheddar cheese
Wheaten or crusty bread & butter
Break lettuce into bite size pieces, tomato cut into wedges, sliced cucumber. Drizzle salad dressing on top.
Add wedge of cheese, Branston pickle and crusty bread.
I still like that type of lunch when I am here at home, but the contents vary with my mood and the contents of my fridge.
Some of the ingredients I add for variation:
honey roasted ham
sweet pepper rings
fresh uncooked peas
sliced apple, pear or orange segments
walnuts, pecans or pine nuts
sunflower, pumpkin & seseme seeds
Summertime and the living is easy, so why not make an easy lunch at home or put the ingredients in a lunch box to eat while sitting in the local park and soaking up a free helping of Vitamin D.
Juicy Summer Salad
A handful of rocket,
couple of scallions/salad onions
few slices of yellow pepper
pinch of curry powder, and mayonnaise, mixed together or dressing of your choice.
Wash and dry the rocket leaves, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper and grapes and place in a bowl. Clean and slice the salad onions and add to the bowl. Add the melon & pineapple chunks and toss lightly.
Mix the curry powder with the mayonnaise together and stir through the salad.
Serve with crusty French, ciabatta or sour dough bread.
What do you add to make a summer salad special?
Peanut Potato Salad
500g new potatoes, scrubbed
50g thickly sliced cooked ham, diced
60 ml mayonnaise
15 ml peanut butter
To garnish: 50g salted peanuts
Boil or steam the new potatoes until tender. Drain well and place in a bowl. Add the chopped ham and toss lightly. Mix the mayonnaise & peanut butter together in a small bowl, add to the potato mixture and stir through.
Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving plate and spoon the potato mixture on top. Sprinkle with the salted peanuts.
Californian Potato Salad
750g small new potatoes, scrubbed & quartered.
125g rindless streaky bacon
25g cashew nuts
For the dressing:
60 ml natural yoghurt
5 ml clear honey
50 g blue cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Steam the quartered new potatoes until tender. Drain thoroughly, place in a bowl and allow to cool.
Grill the bacon until crisp, then crumble and add to the potatoes with the raisins, mix them together.
To make the dressing:
Mix the yoghurt, honey and cheese in another bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to the potato mixture and toss through to coat.
Serve the salad warm or cold, sprinkled with cashew nuts.
For a juicy starter for two or light lunch for one.
Apple & Cucumber Salad
1 sweet dessert apple
juice of 1 orange
4 inch piece of cucumber
2 pieces of preserved stem ginger
1 dessertspoon of ginger syrup
¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
2 tablespoons of French dressing
Slice apple and put into a bowl, sprinkle with orange juice and stir to preserve the colour. Chop the cucumber in large dice and add it to the apple with 2 pieces of preserved stem ginger, grated or thinly sliced.
Mix ginger syrup (from the jar of preserved ginger) with ground ginger and French dressing and pour over the apples and cucumber. Toss well
Serve on a bed of watercress with bread sticks
Stuffed Tomato Salad
8 large, firm tomatoes
50g cottage cheese, sieved
50g grated Cheddar cheese
1 X 5ml spoon mustard powder
1 X2.5 ml spoon Tabasco sauce
10 cm cucumber, grated
1 small endive
To garnish 1 large carrot, cut in matchstick lengths
Cut a very thin slice off the base of each tomato, so that they stand steadily.
Cut a slice from the top of each and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
Beat in the cheeses, mustard, Tabasco sauce and cucumber, and season to taste with salt.
Spoon the filling into the tomato cases and replace the cut-off lids at a jaunty angle.
Separate the endive leaves and line a flat serving dish. Arrange the tomatoes on the salad leaves, and decorate with the carrot sticks.
Serve with mayonnaise.
Tomatoes make perfect containers for savoury mixtures and great for left-over rice, pâté or dips.
A Sweet & Sour Salad
juice of ½ lemon
juice of ½ orange
5 ml spoon wine or cider vinegar
15 ml spoon olive oil
a pinch of sugar
salt & pepper
1 large ripe pear, peeled, cored and sliced
few sticks from centre of a head of celery. chopped
5 cm cucumber, chopped
small bunch watercress
25g dry roasted peanuts
Mix the fruit juices with the vinegar, oil, sugar and seasoning, and place in a bowl. Add the pear, making sure that it is well covered with the dressing. Mix in the celery and cucumber. Arrange the watercress in a circle on the top. Sprinkle with the nuts and serve immediately.
Reading Peter’s Blog Post on sorrel about ten days ago, I was reminded of this recipe.
Sweet Sorrel Salad
100g young sorrel leaves
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
10cm cucumber, diced
1 X 5ml spoon whole grain mustard
2 X 5ml spoons thick honey
2 X 15ml French dressing
1 X 15ml spoon natural yoghurt
Hold the sorrel leaves in a bunch and cut through them with a scissors to a produce a fine shred. In a serving bowl, stir together the sorrel, celery, pepper and cucumber.
Blend the mustard, honey and French dressing, then stir in the yoghurt. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and leave to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Garnish with sliced tomato before serving.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and a Mint & Lemon Dressing
1 medium or 1/2 large watermelon
200g feta cheese
salad leaves or watercress
10ml runny honey
60ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml fresh mint
Cut the watermelon into large chunks and remove the seeds. Cube the cheese. Mix together the oil, honey, and juice of 1 lemon. Finely chop the mint and add. Mix together, season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the salad in a bowl and add the melon and cheese.
Drizzle with the dressing and serve.
Date & Banana Slaw
- 4 ozs of red cabbage, shredded
- 4 ozs of white cabbage, shredded
- 2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 2 ozs stoned dates, finely chopped
- 1 large banana, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon single cream
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Salt & black pepper
Put the red and white cabbage, celery and dates in a bowl.Toss the banana in the lemon juice to preserve the colour and add to the bowl.Mix together the cream and mayonnaise, and season to taste.Spoon the dressing over the salad and toss until the vegetables are well coated.Turn into serving bowl and sprinkle with pine kernels.