Feel free to judge me (Mister North does) but I adore salad cream. I definitely prefer it to the kind of wobbling blobs of mayonnaise that come out of jars these days and if more places were like The Ham Corner in Todmorden market, I’d have it on my sandwiches every time.
I like the fact it reminds of those old fashioned salads with the one lettuce leaf, rolled piece of ham, half hard boiled egg and a tomato for a splash of colour. Such neat and orderly plates of food remind me of primary school days when the sun shone and I got to wear Clarks sandals and run around all day without a care in the world. That’s pretty good work from a condiment.
I know lots of people don’t care for the slightly astringent taste and associated memories of 70s and 80s food but I’m sure that trying a homemade version with a really good summer salad will change many minds. I made mine with duck eggs and buttermilk and served it with griddled asparagus, chicory and home cured treacle bacon and it was so simple and delicious.
Homemade Salad Cream
- 1 duck egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
Hard boil your duck egg and cool until you can handle it. Peel the egg and carefully remove the yolk. Mash in a bowl and add in the mustard, lemon juice and vinegar to make a paste.
Whisk in the oil and the buttermilk until it all forms a glossy dressing with a beautiful buttery yellow colour from the egg yolk. This should take about 45 seconds and is much easier to stabilise than emulsifying a mayonnaise.
Serve with whatever takes your fancy. I fancy going even more retro with devilled duck eggs, but a warm salad worked very well. I had surprisingly little left after I dipped the leftover spears into it but it went into a sterilised jar and kept for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. It will taste like the sun has come out again when you taste this!