11 April 2013

Ham and Egg Salad - When You Just Don't Want to Cook



Not that I really think I'm a "big-time" anything, but whenever we have takeout or something really simple for dinner, I say something like, "Yeah, the big-time professional foodie is really putting on a spread tonight." Of course, some of the salads I make are fancier than this one, with specific ingredients I went out to buy. Not this one.

This was simply a case of being too tired to cook and too tired to even run out for a few ingredients I would have liked to include. A case of using whatever was there (which wasn't much). I had some salad greens that needed to be used so I said, "Salad it is." Even though the salad greens were "pre-washed" and "ready-to-use," I washed them. I am -- understatement alert -- a bit of a germaphobe; so no matter how tired I am, I'm washing that lettuce. If I were on my deathbed, I'd wash that lettuce! 

There was a tiny piece of good, pastured ham; so I diced it and fried it in a little olive oil until the edges were crisp. Had some hard-cooked eggs, which you can tell from the photo I overcooked just a bit (slight grey ring around the yolk). Had just a couple sun-dried tomatoes, which was a good thing since there are no decent fresh tomatoes right now. There were a few cheeses to choose from, and I thought Cheddar would be good for this.

I didn't even have a shallot or a clove of garlic (and my herb garden is kaput just now), but still managed to concoct a dressing we loved. The sweet creaminess of the dressing was a nice counterpoint to the salty, crispy-edged ham. So here's the recipe, which isn't really a recipe. You might think I forgot to list the salt in the dressing, but I didn't. Do not add salt; there is plenty of salt in some of the ingredients.

If you don't have, or don't like, balsamic vinegar, or just want a slightly sharper, less sweet taste, use red wine vinegar instead. Really, just use whatever you want; but use real mayonnaise, not that popular "salad dressing" with the initials "MW." I couldn't bear that!

Ham and Egg Salad

(Serves however many you want to serve)

The Salad

Salad greens
2 ounces diced ham per person
1 or 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced, per person
2 ounces Cheddar cheese per person
Whatever else you want to throw in

The Dressing 

1 tablespoon diced sun-dried tomatoes per person
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar per person
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil per person
1 tablespoon mayonnaise per person
1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup per person
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper per person
1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon per person

22 comments:

Diane said...

Looks good! Thanks for the blog visit too!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Diane!

Yenta Mary said...

We are all entitled to our "Oy!" moments when cooking and baking have stopped singing their Siren song to us. And yet, if you hadn't told me this was a meal for using up lettuce and not bothering to exert much effort, I'd have never known. It's beautiful ... :)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Mary, Mary, thank you so much! I needed that!

Cranberry Morning said...

Looks beautiful! I happen to be one of those who use the 'thoroughly washed and ready to use' lettuce right from the bag. I figure that my chances of getting sick or dying are pretty slim, and I absolutely hate washing and spinning lettuce.

You make everything look delicious, Jean.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you, Judy! My husband does too. And his answer to me then, as anytime he is eating something that this germaphobe simply couldn't, is: And yet I live (spoken in a dramatic tone)!

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Looks lovely, Jean =)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Ruth!

Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom said...

Looks great! I'll have to try the dressing (sounds especially yummy).

Wishing you a lovely day!
xoxo

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Jennifer, thank you! I hope you'll try it soon.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Trying not to drool on the keyboard on account of you used the words “salt” and “sweet” in close proximity. Surprisingly, I’m actually eating more salads these days, after discovering an excellent cob salad. Your article nudges me a little further toward health. BTW, read a recent article mentioning that the biggest cause of food poisoning annually is contaminated fruits and vegetables. Wash away!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Sully. And thanks for reinforcing my germaphobia - not that it needs any encouragement! Glad to hear you're eating more healthfully.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

HaHa, Jean---we're on the same wavelength! I've just been hankering for egg salads--not so much for the ham.

Growing up salads took center stage in our dinners. As a result I often view salads as the avenue for the main dish---something to add a lot of color and texture to.

We all can relate to your beening too plum tired to cook---and still your salad looks delicious and inviting!

We enjoyed your buttermilk buiscuits a few weeks ago.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, thank you! And I'm so glad you're enjoying my biscuits! For some reason I'm never too tired to make biscuits, rolls, breads of all kinds - I'm a breadaholic!

Charles said...

You know Jean, sometimes the simple things are great. I had a salad today (I didn't make it) and, granted, every ingredient was out of a can, and I definitely would have tweaked it (notably by using fresh ingredients instead of canned) but it was simple, and yet really good. Peas, sweetcorn, palm hearts (which I'd never had before), and pineapple. Rounded off with a bit of black pepper and olive oil it was actually really good!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Charles, I love simple, but I often can't seem to manage it. I get carried away and start making things that take two full days to make!

Brooks Walker said...

Jean, simplicity at its tasty best is what you have in this salad! No fuss meals which utilize ingredients on hand not only satiate, but make one feel good about maximizing their dollar power. Cheers from NorCal.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Brooks, thank you! I always feel good when I cut down on food waste (which is where my lettuce was headed!).

Jenn said...

Oh, I've had my fair share of those "I just don't want to cook" moments! This is a great idea and I'll be using it soon. Salads are always such a great "go-to" meal!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

And when it's hot, I must remember that it might be better to make a salad than something that will have me running the oven all day long!

Sippity Sup said...

I thought you ALWAYS wanted to cook! I'm shocked. GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sorry to shock you, Greg. Stay tuned; there may be more shocks to come!

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