Old-Fashioned Salad with Shanagarry Cream Dressing
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, preferably free-range, quartered
- 4 slices home-made beetroot, recipe follows
- 1 butterhead lettuce
- 4 tiny scallions or spring onions
- 2 to 4 tomatoes, quartered
- 16 slices cucumber
- 2 to 4 sliced radishes
- Chopped parsley
- Spring onion, watercress, chopped parsley, for garnish
- Shanagarry Cream Dressing:
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/8 cup plus 2 teaspoons dark soft brown sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/8 cup plus 2 teaspoons brown malt vinegar
- 3/4 to 1 cup cream
Eggs: To hard-boil the eggs for the salad and the dressing bring a small saucepan of water to ae boil, gently slide in the eggs, boil for 10 minutes (12 if they are very fresh), strain off the hot water and cover with cold water. Peel when cold.
Beetroot: Leave 2-inch of leaf stalks on top and the whole root on the beet. Hold it under a running tap and wash off the mud with the palms of your hands, so that you don't damage the skin; otherwise the beetroot will bleed during cooking. Cover with cold water and add a little salt and sugar. Cover the pot bring to the boil and simmer on top, or in an oven, for 1 to 2 hours depending on size. Beetroot are usually cooked easily and if they dent when pressed with a finger. If in doubt test with a skewer or the tip of a knife.
Dressing: To make the dressing cut 2 eggs in 1/2, sieve the yolks into a bowl, add the sugar, a pinch of salt and the mustard. Blend in the vinegar and cream. Chop the egg whites and add some to the sauce. Keep the rest to scatter over the salad. Cover the dressing until needed.
Salad Assembly: Wash and dry the lettuce and scallions. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on each of 4 plates. Scatter a few quartered tomatoes, 2 hard-boiled egg quarters, a few slices of cucumber and 1 radish or 2 slices of beetroot on each plate. Garnish with spring onion and watercress, scatter the remaining egg white (from the dressing) over the salad and some chopped parsley. Put a tiny bowl of Shanagarry Cream Dressing in the center of each plate and serve immediately while the salad is crisp and before the beetroot starts to run. Alternatively, the dressing may be served from 1 large bowl.