Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Salad of Lettuce, Peas, and Ham with Creamy Dressing

So I'm driving down the road holding a tablespoon of mustard. Dijon mustard to be exact.  Can't really do that with a straight face so I'm shaking my head and laughing a little.  What a sight I must be driving home in my workout clothes, sweat dripping down my face, holding a heaping tablespoon of mustard in my hand.  All in the name of saving myself a trip to the store. 

I borrowed a tablespoon of Dijon from my friend Gina when I dropped her off.  She offered to give me the whole bottle and I should've taken it, but I said "I only need like a tablespoon."  A minute later, she comes back out with a heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard and we're both cracking up in her driveway.  Life is full of silly little things.  Laugh whenever you can.

I walked in the house with my mustard and started on the salad dressing immediately.  A creamy dressing of Dijon mustard, champagne vinegar, olive oil, heavy cream, salt, lots of black pepper and pretty green flecks of parsley.  Dressing with heavy know that's good stuff!

Then it came time to put the salad together and we're talking lots of deliciousness.  Soft butter lettuce with warmed peas, savory bites of ham, buttery homemade croutons, and shards of really good farmhouse cheddar.  Pour that creamy dressing on and you're talking one incredible, satisfying, and totally crave-worthy salad.

A Salad of Lettuce, Peas, and Ham 
with Creamy Dressing
Adapted from Tender
by Nigel Slater
Serves 4

For the Salad
8 ounces cooked ham
1-1/4 cups shelled fresh peas
3 thin slices white bread
about 3-4 tablespoons butter
a head of large, soft-leaved lettuce
5 oz. Deep-flavored/farmhouse cheddar cheese

Creamy Dressing
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Champagne/White Wine Vinegar
3 to 4 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
salt, to taste and lots of black pepper
a handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves

To make the dressing:  Mix the mustard, vinegar, and olive oil with a small whisk, then stir in the cream.  Coarsely chop the parsley leaves and add them.  Season with salt and black pepper.

To make the salad: Shred the ham into large bite-sized pieces.  Cook the peas briefly in deep, lightly salted water, then drain.  Tear the bread into small pieces.  Fry in a shallow layer of butter in a nonstick pan.  As soon as they are nicely golden, remove to paper towels to drain.  Salt them lightly.  While the bread is cooking, wash the lettuce, separate the leaves, tear them into manageable pieces, and put them in a serving bowl.  Take shavings or shards of the cheese with a vegetable peeler, or knife, and toss them into the lettuce leaves with the peas, golden bread, and shredded ham.  Pour the dressing onto the salad and toss gently.  

Every Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen


  1. That sounds like something I would do. Although I am shocked you had no mustard knowing your obsession with it! ;-) This looks like a fabulous salad. There is something about a good homemade creamy dressing that just makes me happy.

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week too.

  2. This salad looks wonderful! Definitely making that next week.

  3. I've had cooked lettuce-peas-ham as a side dish but I love it in this salad form with a dressing. Looks delicious!

  4. That's a funny story and you are right - laugh when you can! That's a refreshing salad just made for these dog days of summer. I still need to get that book Tender!

  5. Hi Kim,
    You made me smile! It takes skill to drive while holding a heaped spoonful of mustard! LOL!
    The salad looks really delicious! I would not mind eating this plate as a meal by itself! It has everything that I like! Yums!

  6. That is HYSTERICAL. Oh to have been a fellow driver on the road and have spotted that! :P This salad does sound all kinds of wonderful. I can see why you went to such great measures to get that mustard!

  7. :-D you ran out of mustard, what a shame, but I think, you found a very good solution. And the salad looks absolutely delicious

  8. Oh, Kim, your story totally brightened my day. Only a cook would do that, and you're right, it's important to take the time to find a good laugh when you can.

    I'm loving the sound of this salad. The contrasting textures of soft and crunchy, and some flavours there that are great companions, make this sound like a totally blissful salad. Teamed up with that creamy dressing it sounds sublime.


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