During the season for salad vegetables then this was a common dinner on a Saturday. The Fruit and Veggie van from the local market garden came around on Friday. That meant fresh and locally grown stuff was available. Saturday morning would see my parents off to the supermarket to stock up for the week with everything else that was needed.
In summer then dinner on Saturday was often what I have termed Saturday Salad. It can take a little time to prepare but it is a delight to eat.
- 4 slices of your favourite ham
- 1 large flat lettuce
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 1 medium size cucumber
- 500g/1lb small new potatoes, boiled.
- 1 bunch of red radishes
- 1 large bunch of Spring Onions
- 1 jar silverskin onions
- 1 jar pickled beetroot
- 1 jar mustard
- 1 bottle Salad Cream
- Bring a large pan of water with a little salt in it to the boil. Add in the scrubbed potatoes and boil while the rest of the salad is prepared. They will take around 10 minutes so drain when fully cooked and set aside. Note that they should be still warm when served.
- Take four large dinner plates and place them on a surface close to your preparation area. Balance them anywhere if the kitchen is small
- Tear the leaves from the lettuce, discarding any tough outer ones. Wash well in clean water to remove any soil then dry with a clean tea towel. Arrange the leaves so they cover around half of each plate.
- Arrange the slices of ham so they cover around ¾ of the remaining plate.
- Thinly slice the tomatoes. The ideal size gives 4-5 slices from each. Layer them around the edge of the lettuce bed a little way in from the plate edge. U tend to eat the round bits from the each end while peparing but they can be added to the plates too.
- Take the cucumber and cut so that there are 5-6 slices for each plate. Layer them so that they slightly overlap the tomato and each other.
- Hard Boiled Eggs are always tricky to slice. Simplest way is to be sure to have an egg slicer in the kitchen. The wires in that simply go straight through the egg to leave perfect slices. Slice each of the eggs in turn and place one on each plate. Overlap in the same way as with the cucumber and the tomato.
- Trim the roots from the spring onions. Cut the top a little way into the green then peel off the tough outer skin. Divide between the plates.
- Top and tail the radishes then slice thinly. Add to the plates alongside the spring onions.
- Add on some of the still warm potatoes to each plate. Mix some butter or olive oil into them first for a slightly different taste. Fresh Parsley or other herbs can also be added to vary the taste.
- Place the jars of beetroot, silverskin onions and beetroot at the middle of the dining table. Add the bottle of salad cream plus the salt and pepper alongside them. Leave the lids on everything because it means all get opened at the table and nothing gets lost.
- Once the kids have finished watching their favourite TV show then it is time to eat. Put the plates plus cutlery on the table and everything is ready to go.
- Smear a little mustard onto the ham if liked then add some beetroot and silverskin onions. First person shakes the bottle of salad cream then everybody can pour some onto the lettuce bed.
Of course, this does not have to be done with ham. Any sliced meat or cheese would work equally well. Just the salad part alone can be a delicious lunch too.
To make it more filling then serve with some buttered bread.