Originating in the United Kingdom, a “ploughman’s lunch” is a plate of bread, butter, cheese, and pickles served in pubs at midday. This assortment, with homemade pickles and sliced apples, makes a nice hors d’oeuvre platter for any party. You also can include a green salad
and sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- 2 lb. cucumbers, sliced
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 Tbs. salt
- 1 tsp. whole yellow mustard seeds
- 1 star anise
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 loaf sliced Irish brown bread, soda bread, or country bread
- 2 tart apples, sliced
- ½ lb. Irish Cheddar cheese
- ½ lb. Stilton or Cashel blue cheese
- ¼ lb. Irish butter
- Colman’s English Mustard
1. To make Pickles: Pack cucumbers and onions in 1-qt. jar. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, star anise, cloves, turmeric, and red pepper flakes to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes. Pour liquid over cucumbers and onions; cover, and refrigerate at least 24 hours.
2. Arrange bread, apples, cheeses, butter, mustard, and Pickles on large platter.
March 2011 p.46