Ham salad makes the perfect light lunch on a hot summer’s day. This recipe is intended as a means of using up leftover ham which was perhaps cooked for dinner the night before, but if you wish, the ham can be cooked especially for this purpose and cooled. This ham salad is served with the incredibly simple to make but absolutely delicious Italian bread creation, bruschetta.
Ingredients for two portions
8oz cold, cooked ham
2 large handfuls of fresh arugula
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 medium carrot
Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 tsp mustard seeds
6 slices of French style bread stick (approx 3” long and 1” thick)
1 clove of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze the lemon juice in to a large salad bowl. Core the apple but do not peel it, slice it and add it to the lemon juice. Alternatively, you may wish to shred the apple, in which case it should be peeled. Stir well to fully coat all the pieces of apple. The lemon juice prevents the apple from oxidizing and discoloring. If your apple does begin to discolor, don’t worry too much as it remains perfectly edible. It is only the presentation of your salad which will be adversely affected. Remember for this reason always to assemble an apple based salad like this one at the last possible minute.
Chop or ideally tear the ham in to comfortable, bite sized pieces. Top, tail and peel the carrot. Slice and chop it in to thin strips, what the French call a julienne. Add the ham and carrot to the apple, along with the arugula. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Put the mustard seeds in to a dry frying pan. Put the pan on to a medium heat to lightly toast the seeds. Be very careful doing this, as the seeds may pop and can hit you in the face. After two to three minutes, add the honey to the pan and heat for a further minute. Pour the honey and mustard seed dressing over your salad and lightly toss.
Cut the slices of bread from your loaf at a forty-five degree angle. This makes them larger and improves presentation. Toast them under an overhead grill until golden on both sides. Peel and lightly crush the garlic clove. Rub the garlic clove over the top of each slice of hot toast to impart its flavor. Drizzle each slice lightly with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Serve the salad on plates with the hot bruschetta arranged neatly on the side.