A ploughmen is a farmhand. You may already know that a ploughman’s lunch is:
. . . a cold meal originating in the United Kingdom, commonly served in pubs. Its core components are cheese, pickle and bread. It is traditionally eaten with beer. The dish can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham and pickled onions. As its name suggests, it is more commonly consumed during the lunchtime period.
What you probably do not know is that the Ploughman’s Lunch was invented as a marketing ploy, by the English Cheese and the Milk Marketing Board, to promote the sale of cheese in pubs! A Ploughman’s Sandwich was served at lunchtime (or at supper) and was an open-faced sandwich containing Cheddar cheese, pickle and salad.
Here is my version of the perfect vegetarian Ploughman’s Sandwich suitable for my ploughman friends.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic (chopped)
A wee pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 slices multigrain bread
6 tomato slices
7 ounces Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (sliced thin)
1 12-ounce bag European greens
½ cup pitted large black olives (sliced in half)
6 kosher dill pickles (Bubbies pickles are good)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Puree all dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Place bread slices on a baking sheet and top with tomatoes and then the cheese. Bake for 5 minutes to lightly melt cheese. Remove from oven. Set aside.
Place salad greens in a large bowl, add dressing and toss to coat.
Place sandwiches on 6 plates. Pile greens on top and garnish with olive halves. Serve with dill pickles on the side and a pint of your favorite beer. I serve this with Guinness.
Tip: Substitute ½-inch slices of fresh sourdough French bread for the multigrain bread and this is an altogether different sandwich.