This is the way that I remember my mother making the salad that we would have in the summer. She was born and brought up in the North East of England which is why I describe it as a Traditional Northern Salad. We would typically have this as dinner on a summer Saturday evening after my parents had been to the supermarket in the morning. These days the ingredients are available all year round so go ahead and try it.
- 1 flat head/buttercrunch lettuce
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 4 hardboiled eggs
- 8 large pickled onions
- 8 large slices ham
- 8-10 radishes
- 500g/1lb baby new potatoes
- Salad cream or mayonnaise to serve
- Bring a panful of water to the boil then add in the baby new potatoes and the eggs.Around 9 minutes should get them both cooked although you may have to leave the potato for a little longer depending on size.
- Cool the eggs by running under cold water or just place in a bowl with water and ice.
- Break the lettuce into individual leaves then wash. A salad spinner can be useful here as it will remove excess water but kitchen paper will also work.
- Layer about 4 pieces of lettuce onto each of four serving plates. The aim is to have one side of the plate covered in lettuce and coming about a third of the way into the middle.
- Thinly slice the tomato and cucumber. Place cucumber then tomato slices over the lettuce so that they overlap each other and form a circular pattern on top of the lettuce.
- Remove the shells then slice the hardboiled eggs. The easiest way is to use an egg slicer that can be bought in many places. The wires in them easily slice into an egg and help to give good slices. Layer the egg on top of the tomato in the same circular pattern.
- Add two slices of ham to each plate so that they cover most of the empty space.
- Top and tail the radishes then either thinly slice or quarter according to preference. Add to the plates.
- Pickled onions make a great addition to any salad so put some on too. Choose your favourite variety and adjust the quantity to suit.
- Finish by spooning on the baby new potatoes which should be still warm but not hot.
- Serve with a bottle of salad cream or a bowl of mayonnaise in the middle of the table. Add in the salt and pepper too plus some buttered bread for a great traditional northern salad.
There is no need to use ham because there are many things that can be used with this recipe. For a vegetarian option then thin sliced cheese can be used. This is also a good way to prepare a filling dinner when someone in the household is vegetarian when others are meat eaters. Other cold cooked meats can be used or non dairy cheese can be substituted on a plate if one diner has a dairy allergy.