Growing up, ham salad was one of my most dreaded dinners. When I got home from school, asked mum what was for tea and that was her answer, turning my nose up was almost instinctual. I’d ask if I could make myself something else just so I didn’t have to face a plate of cold ham, plain boiled potatoes and a few lettuce leaves. It did NOT appeal to me!
But as an adult, I now totally appreciate the benefits of this meal. It’s really cheap – like living on a shoestring kinda cheap – it’s healthy, and you can throw it together in a matter of minutes. So I’ve taken this idea and turned it into something I think is a little more inspiring, with the ham cooked until it’s salty and crispy, the potatoes roasted with a crisp parmesan crunch and the salad vibrant and full of colour. It’s still just as cheap and healthy, coming in at about 200 calories per person. Turns out you really can’t go wrong with a simple ham salad!
So, this is how I did it…
1. Chop the potato up into small cube shapes (or as close as you can get!). Place them in a roasting tray, coat with cooking spray and seasoning, sprinkle over some parmesan cheese and pop them into the oven on 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.
2. Slice the ham into strips or ribbons, place in a hot pan with the tiniest dash of olive oil, with a dash of salt and pepper, and cook on a pretty high heat for 10 minutes or so. The ham will cook incredibly quick but don’t be scared! We want it to get really crispy, almost to resemble bacon.
3. To get the salad together, slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Use a potato peeler to shred super thin slices to add raw carrot to the salad. Toss them in with the salad leaves.
4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and the ham from the frying pan, place on top of the salad mix and enjoy!
Of course, if you wanted to skip the ham altogether and go straight for the bacon you could totally substitute one for the other. I’ve stuck with ham here, simply because I wanted to keep it as cheap as possible, but you could try bacon, roasted gammon, even some spicy deli meats – any salty red meats work really well here.
4 – 8 (depending on size) Slices of Wafer Thin Ham, Sliced – Wafer Thin Smoked Ham – £1 – Tesco
1 Baking Potato, Cubed – Baking Potatoes Loose – 21.7p – Sainsbury’s
Sprinkle of Parmesan Cheese – Fresh Shaved Parmesan – £1.60 – Sainsbury’s
1 Bag of Prepared Salad Leaves – Mild Bistro Salad – 70p – ASDA
8 Cherry Tomatoes, Halved – Nightingale Farms Cherry Tomatoes – 53p – Tesco
1/4 Carrot – Carrots Loose – 6p – Tesco
As I’ve mentioned, it’s really important to me to make sure this recipe is full of flavour. The potatoes, as well as shavings of parmesan, should be coated in a teeny tiny dash of olive oil and a generous helping of salt, black pepper, dried rosemary and garlic flakes. The ham, even though already a salty meat, needs a touch more salt added whilst frying to give it that real bacon flavour, as well as some black pepper and dried thyme.