On a cold winter's day after having the wind whip around your face for a few hours it is essential to come back to a fantastic lunch. Perhaps a bowl of warm soup and crusty bread, maybe a lovely pasty or pie. For me, there is no better lunch than a ploughman's. I'm not sure why it's called as such but I'm guessing it's something to do with ploughing. Which, incidentally I have tried my hand at before and it's safe to say I won't be quitting my day job.I think I love this as a lunch above all others because it's so personal. You raid the larder, cupboards and fridge and amass a pile of food on the table that you can dip in and out of at your own leisure. As long as there's no double dipping mind you. There could be anything on the table that you have hanging around; things that might be boring or dull on their own but when paired with something else transform into an edible adventure.
Anything goes really; meats, pies, cheeses, pickles, chutneys, dips, spreads, salad, apples, celery, bread, rolls and whatever else takes your fancy. With the first selection I tend to go with classic combinations and get more daring as I move through the vast wave of food in front of me. Cheese and apple, ham and pickle are classics of course but a pickled beetroot sandwich is not to be sniffed at.
Mine tend to be of the traditional sort but I bet there are a hundred cuisines that have their own versions. Imagine an Asian inspired one; different marinated meats or vegetables, fresh salad, chillies and nuts. What about one with different smoked salmons, condiments and mustards. So what would you have for your ploughmans?