Looking for a delicious, easy and simple to put together extra special vegan brunch, lunch, picnic or even pack lunch?
This vegan ploughman's lunch can be enjoyed as a sandwich or a lunch platter, and is incredibly humble and versatile, but looks amazing and very impressive.
For a gluten-free ploughman sandwich or platter choose a gluten-free bread or perhaps a few crunchy flavoured rice or veggie crackers.
Origin of Ploughman Lunch
The phrase ploughman's Lunch was devised in 1957 by the Cheese Bureau with the aim of promoting the inclusion of English cheese within pub meals.
The original ploughman lunch was simply a combination of bread, cheese, and pickle which was washed down with beer, ale or cider.
The idea of the ploughman's lunch stems from the early ploughman or farm workers who would have lunch at the roadside, field, or perched on a cart and enjoy the simple fare that was transported wrapped in a cloth.
Lunch consisting of bread, cheese and beer or ale was popular staples, and commonly on offer at local inns or public houses for locals and weary travellers to enjoy. Meat was more expensive so cheese was used as the cheaper protein.
There is a medieval poem that dates back to the 14th Century Pierce The Ploughman's Crede which describes the ploughman's meal as bread, butter, cheese and ale.
Although the ploughman may not have actually eaten their food during the modern lunch hours of 12-2pm, instead mid morning or even later in the afternoon/early evening may have been more common for work breaks.
Since the rise of the ploughman's lunch in the 50s many modern day eating establishments offer a classic ploughman's lunch or sandwich within their menus.
However, new additions have been added along the years including lettuce, tomatoes, boiled eggs, apples, pork pies, sausage rolls, and fruits such as pears and grapes.
Also nowadays, many supermarkets, cafes and restaurants often offer a ploughman sandwich which is simply a ploughman's lunch packed into slices of bread, rolls or baguettes.
Finally, if your in the UK, Greggs the bakers has just launched a new vegan Ploughman's Cheeze roll which features dairy-free cheese, pickle, red onion, tomato, cucumber and green salad. Although, a home-made ploughman's lunch is always better than shop-bought!
How To Prepare Vegan Ploughman Sandwich or Baguette
Preparing a ploughman's sandwich or baguette is so easy. The quantity amounts provided in the recipe are just suggestions.
Feel free to add however much of one ingredient as you prefer and to omit or sub an ingredient for what you have to hand.
First spread some vegan margarine or butter over your bread or sliced baguette.
Next add a layer of your favourite lettuce.
Pop in a layer of sliced thin or thick vegan cheese.
Scoop in a layer of chutney/pickle or relish.
Pop in a layer of sliced tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with optional sides such as apple slices, pickled onions, and a few other bits such as grapes, cucumber, radish, walnuts, etc.
Vegan Ploughman Lunch Platter
A ploughman's platter consists of everything that fills up a ploughman's sandwich but with optional tasty extras added. The tasty ingredients are set out nicely on a wooden board or serving plate.
The extras can be any salad bits, fruit or veggies you like, along with crisps, crackers, rice or veggie cakes/crackers, breadsticks or slices of fresh crusty bread or baguettes.
For a gluten-free Ploughman's lunch platter choose gluten-free bread, crackers or rice/veggie cakes.
Above are Kallo's gluten-free veggie cakes that are flavoured with spinach and pesto. These delicious crunchy veggie cakes are prepared with lentil flour and peas and are perfect for a delicious fresh lunch platter.
Any leftover ploughman's sandwich, baguette or lunch platter can be placed into airtight containers or covered with food wrap. Store within the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Although it will be at its best soon after preparing.
Of course. Simply use a gluten-free bread, roll or baguette or replace with gluten-free crackers, rice or veggie cakes. Also check that any chutney/pickle or relish used is also free from gluten ingredients.
A ploughman's lunch can be as humble and delicious as including simply bread, cheese and a pickle, relish or chutney with possibly a pickled onion and slices of apple.
However, for a more substantial fare that would be great for a special Ploughman's lunch or dinner choose any of the following [of course you may have your own ideas not mentioned here, if so do let us know in the comment section].
* cucumber sticks
* carrot sticks
* celery sticks
* tomato slices or whole cherry tomatoes
* any variety of lettuce or young green leaves
* sliced radish
* sliced red onion, or sliced spring/green onions
* sliced chives, chive flowers
* apple wedges, or pear
* bunch of grapes
* vegan cheese, especially a cheddar alternative
* pickle, relish or chutney, such as Branston pickle, sweet onion chutney, etc
* pickled beetroot
* pickled cabbage
* pickled onions
* gherkins/dill pickles
* walnuts [these can be pickled or plain] or your choice of nuts
* dried fruit, such as prunes, dates, apricots, raisins, cranberries
* vegan pork pies [Co-op supermarket [UK] do their own vegan ones Gro 4 mini pies]
* vegan mayonnaise
* your favourite condiments
* your choice of bread, rolls/baps, baguettes, etc
* your favourite crackers
* Scottish oatcakes
* oil-free Scottish oatcakes or oil-free cheesy Scottish oatcakes
* quick three ingredient dinner rolls
* Irish wheaten soda bread
* vegan Quorn ham slices or similar
* vegan cocktail sausages or slice cooked vegan sausages into smaller pieces
* vegan sausage rolls, for mini sausage rolls simply slice large ones into 2-3 pieces after cooking
Absolutely. A ploughman's lunch platter is perfect for parties, buffets, pot-lucks, and sunny-day picnics or even for BBQ sides.
All the ingredients can be laid out on wooden chopping boards or serving platters, or simply dinner plates. This way guests can pick and choose what they like and enjoy a delicious fun meal.
To save time and expensive, perhaps ask your guests to bring an ingredient to add to the ploughman's lunch, such as one guest bring carrot and celery sticks, and another bring the sliced crusty bread, and so on. This way the ploughman's lunch can be a communal affair and lots more fun.
Also any time of the year is perfect for a ploughman's lunch as it can be enjoyed at home, at the park, in a field, at your allotment, in your garden, pack lunch, day-out, on the train, picnic table at the side-of-the-road, dungeon and dragons meet-ups, anywhere really! If its raining outside spread a blanket on the floor and enjoy an at-home-ploughman-picnic, which kids will especially love.
If your planning a vegan medieval meal then consider a ploughman lunch platter, play some medieval music, and wear anything medievally you may own!
Looking for more tasty traditional vegan sandwich ideas?
Have a look at this yummy tofu 'egg' mayonnaise and cress sandwich, and this Coronation 'chicken' Chickpeas and Kidney Beans tortilla wrap or sandwich filling. Another delicious sandwich filling is this refreshing vegan prawn tofu cocktail.
Vegan Ploughman's Lunch Platter And Sandwich
- Chopping boards or plates/serving platters, for displaying the Ploughman's lunch [not necessary if preparing Ploughman sandwich instead]
- Utility knife everyday knife suitable for chopping raw veggies
Ploughman Sandwich or Baguette
- 4 slices bread or 2 small/mini baguettes about 5-10 inch in length
- 2 teaspoons vegan margarine or vegan butter [can use more or omit this ingredient, hummus or mustard is a nice alternative]
- 40 grams lettuce or enough to line your sandwiches, [any variety, romaine is especially tasty]
- 60 grams vegan cheese sliced thin or shredded [use a vegan cheddar alternative if available, or your favourite vegan cheese]
- 6 whole cherry tomatoes or 1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 4 tablespoon chutney such as Branston original pickle, use more if liked
Serve on the side, optional but traditional
- 2 whole apples cored and sliced into wedges [brush with fresh lemon juice to prevent browning if the apples are going to sit on the platter for more than a few minutes] A pickled onion is also a nice traditional addition.
Ploughman Platter Alternative, serve all of the above laid out nicely on a platter/board/plate and include, if liked:
- 6 whole walnuts whole, broken or halved
- 8 mini pickled onions more if preferred
- 60 grams cucumber sliced thin
- 4 whole radishes thin sliced [can pickle the radishes by using a few tablespoons of the pickled onion liquid, just stir the sliced radishes through the liquid and pickle for about 20-30 minutes]
- ½ whole red onion sliced thin into rings or fine dice, more if liked
- 4 tablespoons pickled beetroot
- 100 grams grapes
Ploughman's lunch sandwich or baguette:
- Spread margarine or vegan butter over your bread slices or sliced baguette.
- Line the bread with a layer of lettuce.
- Pop in a layer of sliced vegan cheese or use shredded cheese.
- Scoop in a layer of chutney.
- Next add thin slices of tomato.
- Season with salt and pepper if liked.
- Optional: Serve with a side of thick apple wedges, a few walnuts and a couple of pickled onions.
- Display the ingredients for the ploughman's sandwich or baguette individually on a wooden chopping board, platter or serving plates. Include the ingredient suggestions detailed above for the ploughman's platter.[Find more suggestions for what can be included within the recipe notes.]
- The ploughman's lunch platter is versatile so pick and choose your own ingredients whilst sticking to the main staples of bread, cheese, and pickle, if liked.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional data is based on the ploughman's sandwich [omitting the platter suggestions]. Including the platter ingredients brings the calorie total to around 499 per serving, which is amazing seeing as its comparable to a mini feast! Also each platter serving equals roughly 10g protein, 10g fibre, 4mg Iron, 32mg Vitamin C and 137mg Calcium.
- Any leftover Ploughman's sandwich or platter can be stored within the refrigerator covered in food wrap, for 1-2 days. Although for peak freshness it is best enjoyed the day of preparing.
- For a gluten-free Ploughman's lunch choose a gluten-free bread, roll, bap or baguette. Or select gluten-free crackers, rice or veggie cakes for a tasty crunchy accompaniment. Also ensure that any pickle/relish or chutney used is also free from gluten ingredients.
Prepared this tasty vegan ploughman's sandwich or lunch platter?
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So we can admire your good cooking!
Thanks so much Jacq x