Salad days

April 28, 2015

Too many eggs? Make egg salad. Or ham 'n egg salad.

Too many eggs? Make egg salad. Or ham ‘n egg salad.

Spent a fair portion of yesterday purging the refrigerator of everything that was old enough to vote, and while I was about it, boiled some eggs to clear a partial carton out of the way. Because, you see, I had been thinking about egg salad.

I don’t get in the notion for egg salad too often — maybe twice a year. But I saw a pic of egg salad made with eggs that had been dyed (the whites, not just the shells!) for Easter, and at first glance I thought it had ham in it. It happened I saw that photograph shortly after I’d cooked some country ham for dinner, and I had some left over, and I thought to myself, “Self? Why couldn’t you grind that ham up fine, and stir it up in some egg salad, and have ham-n-egg salad?”

Self agreed that you could, for after all, one has deviled ham, which is ground ham, mustard, mayo, pickle relish, and spices, and egg salad, which is chopped eggs, mustard, mayo, pickle relish or chopped olives, and spices, so why not combine them?

So we did. I’d boiled 8 eggs of questionable vintage (they couldn’t vote, but they might have been getting close to being able to drive with a permit). I took five of them, mashed the yolks with a fork, chopped up the whites, and pulsed about four ounces of cooked country ham in the FoPro to a consistency of rough crumbles. This is country ham — very dry, very salty — not your standard grocery store ham.  Stirred all that up together and added roughly:

  • 3 tbsp or so of mayo
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • couple of splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • a dash of Louisiana hot sauce
  • some freshly ground pepper

There’s plenty of salt from the ham. I stirred that all up together, sampled, and pronounced it excellent. It’s got a bit more oomph than standard egg salad, and a smoothness that deviled ham lacks. I think it’d be a fine thing with the addition of some good cheese on a sandwich.

Also in the interest of clearing the fridge, I decided I’d best work up the two cartons of strawberries I’d bought last week, before I lost them. So I set about doing that, macerating some of them in sugar to go over pound cake, of which I just happen to have a half of one on hand, and saving some back for a new idea of a fruit salad. I also had grapes, which also needed to be used; and I had fresh mozzarella. Sounds like the makings of a fruit salad to me.

Fruit salad, with grilled cheese and slaw.

Fruit salad, with grilled cheese and slaw.

I cut about a three-quarters of a cup of grapes in half,  quartered roughly the same amount of strawberries, and diced up an 8-oz container of bocconcini mozzarella balls in brine. Tossed that all together and used a new dressing I’d tried out the week before.

This dressing. This dressing from the How Sweet It Is blog, which you should immediately commence to read, because she has some excellent recipes. But first, make this dressing. Now.

  •  1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

I mixed up everything but the olive oil in a four-cup measure, and added an extra tablespoon of honey for good measure. Then I plunked my immersion blender into it and slowly poured in the oil. Perfection. I’ve used it on a vaguely Greek marinated veggies salad (cucumber, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta) and this fruit salad; it’d be great on a chef salad or a Cobb salad or about anything you wanted to put it on.

And being that the Farmers Market opens Saturday, and there will be leaf lettuce, green onions and radishes among the early crops, it’ll be salad days, so one ought to have a repertoire of good salad dressings. Here’s another one I love:

Honey Balsamic Viniagrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 tbsp fresh, diced
  • 4-6 confited garlic cloves, or 2-3 fresh ones, crushed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

As in the previous recipe, mix everything but the olive oil and take after it with the immersion blender. This is a good dressing on any salad that contains bacon, or apples/pears, or figs.

Want more dressing recipes? Here’s a list. Also read one the other day that intrigued me:

  • 1 cup cilantr0
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper

All whizzed up together in the FoPro. Anxious to try that one, too, though it sounds like a boat-load of cilantro.

Now. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em have no excuse for not eating healthy and such. Go get your salad on.



One Response to “Salad days”

  1. […] dressing is one I discovered on the How Sweet It Is blog and republished here a few months ago. I keep a jar of it in my fridge at all times. It’s great on veggies, great […]

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