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Ploughman’s Salad

This simple, tasty salad is served with homemade pickled onions and a mustard-honey dressing. 


  • 100g watercress, excess stalks cut off

  • 1 romaine lettuce, roughly sliced

  • 1 English eating apple, quartered, cored and cut into small chunks

  • 3 celery sticks, trimmed and finely sliced

  • 8–10 radishes, trimmed and sliced

  • 6–8 slices of cooked ham, torn into pieces

  • 100g best-quality Cheddar cheese,.g.Montgomery, cut into strips with a vegetable peeler

  • 100g best-quality Stilton, e.g. Colston Basset, cut into small cubes

  • For the quick pickled onion

  • 1 red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced into rings

  • 1/2 tbsp golden caster sugar

  • 4 cloves

  • 2–3 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • For the dressing

  • 1/2–1 tsp English mustard, to taste

  • 1 tsp runny honey

  • 2–3 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    First make the pickled onion. Put the onion into a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar, cloves, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Toss well to mix, place a saucer or layer of cling film over the onions and weigh down with a can of jar. Leave while you prepare the salad, or for up to an hour.

  • 2.

    To make the dressing, put the mustard, honey, vinegar and oil into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Set aside.

  • 3.

    Place the watercress, lettuce, apple, celery and radishes in a bowl and mix together. Mix the dressing again, pour it over the salad and toss to ensure everything is lightly coated.

  • 4.

    Dot pieces of the ham and cheeses over the top. Drain the pickled onion and dot this over too. Toss lightly and serve.

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