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Ploughman’s lunch recipes

To celebrate the Olympics in London, an updated version of a pub classic.

A hearty lentil-avocado salad stands in for cold ham or roast beef, but the pickles, butter, and cheese are all as traditional as you can get.Photograph by Jim Scherer / Styling by Catrine Kelty


Serves 4

Compose 4 large plates, placing on each a portion of bread, butter, English cheese, gherkins or cornichons, mostarda, half a roasted onion, and lentil-avocado-arugula salad. Serve with beer or cider.


Serves 4

1½ tablespoons fresh

lemon juice

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and black pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin

olive oil

1 cup du Puy lentils

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 bay leaf

1 large sprig thyme

or rosemary

Pinch red pepper flakes

½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 ripe avocados, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 bunch scallions, sliced


4 cups baby arugula, washed and dried 

In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste, then whisk in the oil and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with water by 2 inches. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme or rosemary, and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Partially cover, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are softened, about 18 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue cooking until lentils are al dente-tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Drain well and pick out the herbs. In a large bowl, mix the hot lentils, half of the dressing, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste and set aside to cool to room temperature. In a small bowl, mix the sun-dried tomatoes, avocado chunks, and scallions with half of the remaining dressing, then stir into the cooled lentils.

In another large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining dressing and salt and black pepper to taste. To serve, spoon lentil salad on beds of arugula.


Makes about 2 cups

3 tablespoons cidervinegar

1 tablespoon neutral oil


1/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon brownmustard seeds

1 teaspoon dried mustard powder

2½ tablespoons Dijonmustard

1 4-inch sprig rosemary

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper

2 medium Granny Smithapples, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup dried cherries

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard seeds and powder, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, rosemary, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper to a boil, stirring frequently. Stir in the fruit and return to a simmer, then cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until apples are tender and glazed, about 7 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature, remove rosemary and bay, and stir in the remaining Dijon mustard. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours to blend flavors; serve at room temperature.


Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium onions (about 3 inches in diameter), skins on and halved crosswise

4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or rosemary

Salt and pepper

With the rack in the lowest position, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and, with the oil, rub an area just large enough to accommodate the onions. Cut X’s on the root and stem ends of the onion halves and rub on the oiled sheet. Sprinkle the cut sides with 1 teaspoon of the thyme or rosemary each and salt and pepper to taste, return them to the sheet cut-sides down, and roast until dark brown around bottom and tender, about 35 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before serving hot, warm, or at room temperature.



Makes 1 loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup oat or whole-wheat flour

1½ tablespoons sugar

1½ teaspoons baking soda

1½ teaspoons cream of tartar


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons softened and 1 tablespoon melted

1½ cups buttermilk, cold

With the rack in the center position, heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk both flours, the sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and 1½ teaspoons salt. Cut the softened butter into pieces and rub it into the flour mixture until mealy. Add the buttermilk and gently mix until the dough comes together in large clumps. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just to incorporate the loose flour (dough will be sticky and uneven ).

Shape the dough into a 6-inch round and place it in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or on a parchment-lined sheet). Cut a deep cross on the top of the dough all the way to the edges, brush with the melted butter, and bake until browned and a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating once. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Send comments or suggestions to Adam Ried at cooking@globe.com.