Growing Chefs! Ontario Ploughman’s Salad

Ploughman’s Salad

The ploughman’s lunch” appeared in the pub scene in the 1950’s, with British cheese manufacturers pushing for more cheese to be used on menus. This salad took off with bold cheese flavours and a tangy punch of pickled onions.
1 red onion1 teaspoon sugar2 whole cloves2 tablespoons red wine vinegar3 stalks celery, sliced1 tablespoon dijon mustard1 tablespoon honey2 tablespoons white wine vinegar1/3 cup grapeseed oil1 head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped1 bunch watercress, roughly chopped3 radish, thinly sliced150 grams old cheddar, cubed100 grams blue cheese, crumbled200 grams ham, cubed
knifecutting boardbowls of various sizesmeasuring spoonsmeasuring cupswhiskstongstasting spoonsdish towel

Get Organized!

Gather your mis en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Cut the onion in half from root to tip and peel off the outer skin. Cut the very top and bottom off the onion, then thinly slice vertically, following the creases that appear naturally in the onion.

Cut the very top and bottom off the celery, then slice into 2‑centimeter slices at a 45° angle.

Cut the romaine into quarters from bottom to top, then cut across into 3‑centimeter chunks.

Rip the leaves off the watercress from the stems.

Cut the cheddar and ham into 2‑centimeter cubes.

Slice the radishes into rounds as thinly as possible.

Crumble the blue cheese by hand.

Measure out the sugar, cloves, vinegar, mustard, honey, and oil.

Get Cooking!

Add the onions to a bowl and add the red wine vinegar, sugar, and a generous pinch of salt. Toss to coat and cover with a plate narrower than the bowl. Place a heavy object on the plate (such as a can from the pantry) and allow it to pickle.

In another bowl, add the honey, mustard, and white wine vinegar. Whisk to combine, then slowly add the oil in a slow trickle, whisking vigorously the entire time.

Season with salt and pepper, taste, and adjust if necessary.

Drain the pickled onions.

Place the watercress and lettuce in a large bowl, then add the cheeses, celery, ham, and radish, reserving some of each for garnish.

When ready to serve, add ⅔ of the dressing to the salad and toss to coat. Taste, and add more dressing if desired.