A Saint Patrick’s Day Series of Side Dishes and Desserts: Irish Pub Salad

A Saint Patrick’s Day Series of Side Dishes and Desserts: Irish Pub Salad

A Saint Patrick’s Day Series of Side Dishes and Desserts: Irish Pub Salad

 

As ye know, lads and lassies, Saint Patrick’s Day is fast approachin’!

It’s time to participate in all of the Americanized Irish traditions that really have very little if anything to do with real Irish tradition.

It’s time to watch the “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, one of my mom’s and Jame’s favorite movies of all time. Despite the fact that it was filmed in 1952, its humor and humanity still hit home 60 years later.

It’s time to dig up the one old green sweater you keep in your closet just to have something appropriate to wear on the 17th.

It’s time to drive down to the city and wonder at how they dye Chicago’s brown river kelly green using orange powder.

 

Photo-by-Kamil-Dziedzina1

 

And it’s time to plan your Saint Patrick’s Day supper.

Yes, of course there will be corned beef.  That’s a given. But what about the sides? I’m going to introduce a few of my family’s fan favorite Irish sides and desserts over the course of the next few days, and you can take your pick.

Sure enough, we’re going to have a whale of a time! (Apparently this one of many common Irish sayings, so it would seem that we need to boldly honor it at this time of year, even if we haven’t heard the phrase spoken in the U.S. since Long John Silver’s fell out of favor.)

Because I’m a sequential type of gal, let’s start with the first course: salad.

We were invited to an early Saint Patrick’s Day dinner party over the weekend that abounded with delicious Irish fare: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and homemade Irish soda bread, as well as a to-die-for chocolate and whipped cream cake with grasshopper cordials for dessert. Yum-o! (Thanks Audrey and Marty!)

I brought a salad to share, and I’ll be sharing that recipe with you today as well. It’s an Irish Pub Salad, which basically is Boston lettuce with whatever other salad bar toppings you want to include. The idea is that the diners take some lettuce and then pick and choose whichever toppings they’d like on their own plate. This is one of those recipes where there really is no right or wrong way to go about it. It’s bound to drive the rule-followers amongst us into apoplectic shock. The only two rules that stand are that you should use tender Boston or Bibb lettuce, and be sure to make the salad dressing in the recipe, preferably with the fresh tarragon, and a teaspoon of sugar. Other than that, it’s a creative free-for-all.

 

Recipe courtesy of: Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup regular or low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar or white wine vinegar (plus one teaspoon sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water
  • 4 cups torn Boston or Bibb lettuce
  • 4 cups selected salad bar ingredients (such as pickled beets, sliced cucumber, diced tomatoes, chopped celery, shredded cabbage and sliced onions)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, sliced
  • 4 ounces cheddar and/or blue cheese, cut into wedges

Here are the salad bar sides I used: Boiled fingerling potatoes, blanched green beans (heated in boiling water for about a minute and then cooled in an ice bath), halved grape tomatoes, sliced red cabbage, boiled eggs, cucumber wedges, julienned carrots, sliced cooked beets, and smoked cheddar and gouda cheese cubes that I scattered on top of the lettuce right before serving.

We passed the dressing on the side so everyone could add as much as they wanted to their plates. A beet controversy ensued: some people are gaga about beets, while others decided they taste like “earth”. I was in the “earth” camp until a few years ago when I suddenly somehow learned to appreciate their “earthiness”.

Directions:

Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon and Dijon mustard in small bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in enough water or milk by teaspoonfuls to make dressing thin enough to pour. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (I added a touch of sugar and a little milk instead of the water to cut down on the acidity.)

 

Saint Patrick's Day Side Dishes: Irish Pub Salad Dressing

 

Arrange lettuce on platter as base of salad. Place salad bar ingredients over lettuce in attractive pattern. Top with sliced hard-boiled eggs. Drizzle dressing over salad. Place cheese wedges at ends of platter and serve.

 

St. Paddy's Day Sides: Irish Pub Salad

 

 

And here’s the easy printable version.

 

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Pub Salad

From magazine Bon Appetit
This beautiful Irish pub salad begin with a Boston lettuce base, and is supplemented by varied salad bar fixings and a sharp and creamy tarragon dressing. Serve it as a first course to your St. Patrick's Day supper.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons malt or white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons milk or water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups Boston or Bibb lettuce
  • 4 cups Salad bar ingredients (e.g., carrots, tomatos, beets, cucumber, etc.)
  • 2 eggs (hard-boiled, and sliced)
  • 4oz cheddar or blue cheese

Directions

Step 1
Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon, sugar, and Dijon mustard in small bowl and whisk to blend. Whisk in enough water or milk by teaspoonfuls to make dressing thin enough to pour. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 2
Arrange lettuce on platter as base of salad. Place salad bar ingredients over lettuce in attractive pattern. Top with sliced hard-boiled eggs. Drizzle dressing over salad. Place cheese wedges at ends of platter and serve.
 

 

This salad is not only a beautiful addition to your Saint Patrick’s Day supper, but it’s adaptable to people’s palettes, it’s fresh, healthy, and it’s delicious!

More Saint Patrick’s Day sides and desserts will be coming your way very soon including a traditional Irish potato and cabbage dish, and a Shamrock Shake taste-off . . .

Oh, and about that beet controversy – which side do you stand on?

 

Written by Becky


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About Me:

Hi! My name is Becky. I’m a mom, a wife, a friend, a writer, and a compulsive thinker. Don't invite me to a spa or to shop the day away, but rather, make me laugh, engage me in interesting conversation, play a game with me, or give me a cappuccino and homemade vanilla bean flan and I’m yours ‘til the cows come home.

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