What makes this salad Irish? It is mostly the dressing, since leafy green salads were not historically a traditional Irish dish. Of course, in modern Ireland you can find them just about anywhere, and that is where this salad gets its origins. The tangy dressing is even better when made with Irish mustard (like Lakeshore Wholegrain Irish Mustard with Irish Whiskey) and a great Irish cheese like Cahill Irish Porter Cheese, Blue Cashel, or any of the great Irish Cheddars like Shamrock Mild Cheddar, Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, and our personal favorite, Dubliner Irish Cheddar. You do not have to stick to just one cheese, a mix of cheddar and blue cheeses, a mix of cheddars, or all the Irish cheeses you can find like Irish Cheese Assortment - Cashel Blue, Irish Green Wax Cheddar, Dubliner, and Cahills with Guinness will work well. Of course, any whole grained mustard and cheddar or blue cheese will work in this salad...but that pretty much skips everything that makes it Irish! You can substitute "rashers" or Irish breakfast bacon for the cooked bacon, but at least in my area, rashers are much harder to find than Irish cheeses and mustards. You can use your favorite greens and add other salad ingredients, but serving the salads in large cabbage leaves is really what makes the salads feel festive and "Irish" when entertaining. The dressing is quite thick and creamy and if you would prefer a thinner dressing you can thin it easily with milk or water. This salad is hearty enough for a main dish salad, and in that case this amount of salad would feed two people, but can be easily doubled or tripled. You might just have to use a bed of cabbage leaves rather than a single leaf for the base of the salad.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons malt vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain Irish mustard
2 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)
4 cups torn lettuce
2 bunches sliced scallions (both white and green parts)
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup shredded green cabbage
4 large green cabbage leaves
4 ounces thinly shaved Irish cheese
4 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
2 peeled and sliced hard-boiled eggs
Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, and sugar until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Dressing can be tightly covered and refrigerated for up to 48 hours before serving at this point. Stir well before dressing the salad. In a large bowl toss the lettuce, scallions, celery, and shredded cabbage together. Place a large cabbage leaf on each salad plate and distribute the lettuce mixture evenly in the cabbage leaves. Arrange the cheese shavings, bacon pieces, and sliced eggs on top of the salads and serve cold.
Makes four servings.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes