Yam, Ham and Thank You Ma’am

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • A Buffet Salad for


Appears in

This takes that yucky canned potato salad to which I alluded in the opening of this chapter – you know, little cubes of salad cream-smeared potato and peas and ham – and stands it on its head. This salad has bite, not slime.


  • 350 g/12 oz yam (or use sweet potato)
  • extra-virgin olive oil and rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp.coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 large red (bell) pepper, cut into 2cm/¾in squares
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp mild mustard
  • ¼ tsp ground mace
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 g/ oz mixed salad leaves
  • 300 g/10½ oz.top-notch cooked gammon/ham cut into 1.5 cm/ in.cubes
  • 100 g/ oz goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 35 g/ oz/2 heaped tbsp flaxseeds, dry-toasted in a frying pan


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7.

Peel the yam and cut it into 1.5cm/⅝in cubes, plunging them straight away into cold water, as yam is one of those tubers that discolours in a nanosecond. Whisk around 75ml/2½fl oz/5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil mixed with rapeseed oil with the thyme and seasoning. Drain the yam and pat it dry before tossing it in the herby oil. Do the same with the onion and pepper, and spread the veg out in an oven dish. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the potato starts to colour and the onion/peppers soften. Remove and allow to cool a little.

Beat around 50ml/1¾fl oz/scant ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil with the vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and mace, and season to taste.

Arrange the salad leaves on a platter and dot the roasted veg on top. Add the ham and dribble with the sweet dressing. Sprinkle with goat’s cheese and toasted flaxseeds, and serve with warm home-made rolls*.

* Just kidding

I’m a rubbish baker and would hardly prescribe the act thereof for anyone else. Max respect if you are a home baker, though.