Classic Ham Salad Recipe
Ham salad is a classic and versatile dish that is perfect for sandwiches, wraps, or as a side. It’s an excellent way to use up leftover ham and create a delicious, savory spread that can be enjoyed on its own or in various meal options. In this comprehensive recipe, we’ll guide you through the process of making a flavorful ham salad using simple ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. Get ready to transform your leftover ham into a delectable dish that’s great for lunch, picnics, or as a quick snack.
Gather the following ingredients to make a delightful ham salad:
- 2 cups of cooked ham, finely diced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup of sweet pickle relish
- 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped red bell pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: Lettuce leaves, bread, or crackers for serving
Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step instructions for making this delicious ham salad.
- Prepare the Ingredients: Begin by gathering all the necessary ingredients and preparing them. Dice the cooked ham into small, uniform pieces. You can use leftover baked ham, boiled ham, or even ham steak. Hard-boil the eggs, peel them, and finely chop them. Chop the onion, celery, and red bell pepper into small, even pieces. Having all the ingredients ready will make the mixing process smoother.
- Combine the Ham and Eggs: In a large mixing bowl, add the finely diced ham and the chopped hard-boiled eggs. The combination of ham and eggs creates a rich, hearty base for the ham salad. The ham adds a savory, smoky flavor, while the eggs provide creaminess and texture.
- Add Mayonnaise: To bind the ingredients and add creaminess to the salad, add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise to the bowl. You can adjust the amount of mayonnaise to your desired consistency. Some may prefer a creamier texture, while others may opt for a lighter, less mayonnaise-heavy version.
- Mix in Sweet Pickle Relish: The sweet pickle relish adds a delightful sweetness and a hint of tang to the salad. Stir in 1/4 cup of sweet pickle relish, ensuring it’s evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Incorporate Yellow Mustard: To balance the sweetness of the pickle relish, add 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard. The mustard’s tanginess complements the sweet and savory flavors of the ham salad.
- Combine the Vegetables: Add the finely chopped onion, celery, and red bell pepper to the mixture. These vegetables provide a refreshing crunch and vibrant color to the salad. They also add a touch of freshness to the overall flavor profile.
- Season with Salt and Pepper: Season the ham salad with salt and pepper to taste. Start with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, then adjust according to your preference. Be cautious with the salt, as ham can be naturally salty.
- Mix Thoroughly: Use a large spoon or spatula to thoroughly mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Ensure that the mayonnaise, relish, mustard, and seasonings are evenly distributed, coating every piece of ham and vegetable.
- Taste and Adjust: Give the ham salad a taste to check for seasoning. If needed, you can add more mustard, mayonnaise, salt, or pepper to suit your personal taste. Keep in mind that flavors will meld as the salad chills.
- Chill the Ham Salad: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the ham salad for at least 1-2 hours. Chilling allows the flavors to meld and intensify, resulting in a more delicious and harmonious dish.
- Serve and Enjoy: Once the ham salad has chilled, it’s ready to be served. You can enjoy it in a variety of ways:
- As a sandwich or wrap filling: Spread a generous portion of ham salad between slices of bread or in a tortilla wrap, adding lettuce and other toppings if desired.
- On a bed of lettuce: Serve the ham salad over a bed of fresh lettuce leaves for a lighter, low-carb option.
- With crackers: Scoop the ham salad with crackers for a quick and satisfying snack.
- As a side dish: Pair it with your favorite main course as a delightful side.
Ham salad is a versatile and delicious dish that’s easy to prepare and incredibly satisfying. With the combination of diced ham, chopped eggs, and a mix of savory and sweet ingredients, it offers a delightful medley of flavors and textures. Whether you choose to enjoy it in a sandwich, as a side, or on its own, this classic ham salad recipe is sure to become a family favorite. So, the next time you have leftover ham, don’t hesitate to whip up this tasty salad and savor the delightful blend of flavors.