One of my family’s favorite meals is what we refer to as a “ploughman’s lunch.” Traditionally, a ploughman’s lunch is what the ploughman’s wife would tie up in a kerchief for him to eat on his midday break; a crust of bread, a hunk of cheese, an apple and a flagon of beer. I like to picture the farmer dozing in the warm sun, his sleepy oxen standing nearby, as he takes a few moments of well-earned rest after eating his humble meal.
The Carons’ interpretation of a “ploughman’s lunch” has a decided Mediterranean flair, a Greek ploughman’s lunch, if you will. We eat it for dinner, and we’re not leaning on hay bales. But it always includes our favorite simple foods, like deviled eggs, hummus, olives, pickles, grapes, a good cheese and fresh crusty bread dipped in olive oil. (Probably some kind of meat in there for the guys, else it’s too much like chick food.)
Hummus probably wouldn’t find it’s way into a traditional ploughman’s lunch, but it is the centerpiece of the Caron table. This version is creamy with a bit of texture, and has cumin instead of garlic. It is great with carrots, celery, or pita bread.
You might not feel you need a recipe for deviled eggs, but this one (adapted from The Joy of Cooking), is absolutely perfect. I hope you enjoy a ploughman’s lunch for dinner sometime soon (no ploughing required.)
- 100 milliliters olive oil
- 100 milliliters tahini
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- juice of a lemon (or 2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice)
- Pour olive oil into a glass measuring cup to the 100 mil line.
- Add tahini to the 200 mil line.
- Pour into food processor or blender.
- Add garbanzo beans, cumin, salt and lemon juice, plus a dash of cayenne if desired.
- Blend until very smooth.
- To serve: sprinkle with paprika and serve with carrots, celery, pita slices or gluten-free chips.
- 4 large free range eggs
- 2 Tbsp organic mayonnaise (available at Trader Joe's)
- 1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- dash of hot sauce
- Boil water in a pot deep enough to cover the eggs in a single layer.
- Add a Tbsp or so of vinegar to the boiling water (helps to seal the shells.)
- Gently lower eggs into boiling water.
- Boil for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and plunge into cold water.
- Peel eggs under running water.
- Slice eggs in half.
- Remove yolks to a large bowl.
- Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, pepper and hot sauce and mash until creamy.
- Spoon the filling into the egg white halves.
- Sprinkle with paprika.
Does your family have a version of the “ploughman’s lunch”? What do you include on your table? Please share in the comments!