Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: A little ham goes a long way

By JANINE GILBERTSON April 04. 2018 12:48AM
Leftover ham, chopped veggies, spinach and an egg combine for a hearty breakfast (or breakfast for dinner). (JANINE GILBERTSON)

If you served ham for Easter dinner, chances are you have some leftovers in the fridge that can be put to good use.

Instead of just heating up the leftovers, I usually try to come up with different ways to use them. Since my kids love ham, it seems I can put it into just about anything and it will be a hit.

A fast and easy way to cook up leftover ham is to chop it up and sauté it with some fresh vegetables like onions and spinach, then crack an egg into the pan to pull everything together. Pair it with some toasted bakery or homemade bread and you have a tasty brunch dish or a hearty breakfast for dinner on a busy weeknight.

This year I thought I would try using the leftover ham to make a split pea soup. I cut up some ham and sautéed it with some onion, carrots, garlic and celery, then added the dried split peas with some vegetable stock. With minimal effort — and a bit of time to allow the soup to simmer — I had a nutritious, hot dinner on the stove.

It was a grab-and-go night, one of those busy evenings when no one would be sitting down at the table to eat. I headed out to run some errands and looked forward to enjoying the pea soup when I returned. Well, when I got home, most of the soup was gone — there was barely a bowlful left — so apparently it was a hit with the family.

Also on our Easter table was my own version of a Waldorf salad. I chopped up some tart green apples and substituted pecans for the walnuts and added some chia seed and quinoa for texture. A little radicchio added a nice twist too; its bitter crunch worked well with the sweet, dried cranberries I mixed in to the salad. For the dressing I used Greek-style plain yogurt instead of mayonnaise, so overall the dish was quite healthy. In fact, it was so tasty that it was the one dish at our Easter dinner that had no leftovers.

Ham, Spinach and Onion Sautee

1 egg

1 cup ham, chopped 

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp butter

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped onion

salt and pepper to taste

Add the butter to a skillet and set over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the ham, garlic and onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the spinach and sauté, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted. 

Crack the egg directly over the ham and vegetables and allow to cook until the whites are no longer translucent and the yolk has cooked to your preference. 

Season with salt and pepper and serve.
This take on a Waldorf salad includes apples, grapes, celery, quinoa, chia and a dressing based in Greek yogurt. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Apple Pecan Crunch Salad

3 tart apples, peeled and chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins) 

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp red quinoa

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1 1/2 cups red grapes, cut in half

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup radicchio, shredded

fresh ground black pepper

Add the apples, celery, craisins, chia seed, quinoa, grapes and pecans to a large bowl. 

In a smaller bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice and pepper and whisk together. Drizzle the dressing over the apple mix and stir to combine. 

Garnish with radicchio before serving. 
An hour or so for simmering is the biggest investment required for this split pea soup with leftover ham. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Ham and Pea Soup

2 cups cooked ham, chopped

3 tbsp butter

1 sweet onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 lb dried split peas

8 cups vegetable stock

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Add the butter to a stockpot and set over medium high heat. When the butter has melted, add the celery, onion, carrots, garlic and ham. Sauté until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. 

Stir in the vegetable stock, peas, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low. 

Simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the peas have softened and the soup has thickened, then serve. 


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Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen

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