Homemade Salad Cream

salad cream

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!



14 replies
  1. Jane at fromagehomage
    Jane at fromagehomage says:

    I love salad cream! My mum used to make a home-made version which was delicious so I’d love to try this. Sounds like your family made salads in the same way as mine – good old-fashioned lettuce, cucumber, tomato, radishes and sliced hard-boiled eggs. Yum.

  2. Lee
    Lee says:

    I accidentally had some very off salad cream on a fish finger sarnie when I was a kid. I set right about it before realising, too late, that I was was dealing with a flavour as gurn-inducingly awful as it was persistently lingering, and not a Clarke’s sandal in sight. So: slightly different nostalgic signifiers for me. I now rarely touch the stuff. Perhaps, however, yours will be the recipe to put that situation to rights?!

  3. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Oh Lee, I feel guilty for triggering such a memory! I think you’re excused a dubiousness about salad cream then! Hope this helps!

    Alicia: Chips and salad cream is what I’m having tomorrow night now. Good call!

    Jane: we never did radishes. I bet they are amazing with this. Time to learn to like them.

  4. Audrey
    Audrey says:

    I have horrendous memories of watery, acidic slime but this sounds delicious. It’s as far off salad cream as Hellman’s is from mayonnaise! Can’t wait to try it out with asparagus. Thanks for this.

  5. Mister North
    Mister North says:

    Haha, yes… I’m a tad judgemental about salad cream, but I associate it with school dinners, on the rare occasion they served salad. Or, more precisely, two cucumber discs, half a househouse tomato, a leave of iceberg lettuce, and half a hard-boiled egg… sans seasoning or dressing. Only a semi-sweet pat of salad cream would add any interest to the dish, and it wasn’t my kind of thing compared to the heady richness of mayo.

    However this does sound a million miles off that spine-chilling childhood experience. I might be tempted to readjust my tastebuds and re-evaluate my perceptions of such things!

  6. Sophie {The Cake Hunter}
    Sophie {The Cake Hunter} says:

    Salad cream is the best! I love it on a ham sandwich, reminds me of being a kid. My mum used to take salad cream in the suitcase on holiday…maybe that was going too far but it’s still delicious.

  7. Miss South
    Miss South says:

    Audrey: I promise it’s nothing like that cheap salad cream of school days. Plus you feel so glam making one’s own dressing!

    Mister North: I loved those school dinner salads. Some of my happiest food memories. I thought it was terribly chic to be eating salad as a child. Funny how we remember them so differently!

    Sophie: Ham and salad cream sarnies are the best. I think I might dress a homemade slaw with this and do an ultimate ham buttie with salad cream and coleslaw for lunch. Salad days indeed!

  8. Diana Hand
    Diana Hand says:

    Love your blog. I think it is so well designed and really interesting to read. Thank you again. Good luck and I look forward to next instalment. I think you have single handedly made me more food-aware.

  9. Dave
    Dave says:

    Love this. I also have a fondness for salad cream with traditional English salad things. A sarnie on soft white bloomer is bloody lovely. Thickly sliced bread, thickly buttered, thinly sliced tomatoes, cucumber and hard boiled egg, curly lettuce, salad cream. Could eat one now. (May be even better with ham in it too).

  10. Phil in the Kitchen
    Phil in the Kitchen says:

    Of course, buttermilk – I’d never thought of making a creamy dressing with that. Excellent. I can be ridiculously nostalgic when I want to be but I don’t think it’s just nostalgia that makes me want a bit of creamy sharpness in a dressing. Although I’m suddenly craving a beetroot and salad cream sandwich.

  11. anna@annamayeveryday
    anna@annamayeveryday says:

    Oh I remember salad cream, hot summers in the 70’s, lunches in the village hall, plates of ham salad with the beetroot juice seeping into everything and always always salad cream.

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