Ham it Up

These leftover ham recipes will make you love your ham in a savory tart with Brussels sprouts and an easy sweet and sour Vietnamese noodle bowl
Ham and Brussels Sprout Tart Dijon, one of Robin Asbell's leftover ham recipes
Ham and Brussels Sprout Tart Dijon

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

If you celebrate Easter, chances are good that ham has a prominent role in the feast. It’s also likely you will end up with more than enough for the celebration as well as the usual ham and eggs at breakfast the next morning and sandwiches for lunch. But the remains of the day can go out in greater style in a savory tart with Brussels sprout and an easy Vietnamese noodle bowl in these leftover ham recipes by Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, which appeared in Real Food. If you don’t have leftovers, no worries—just pick up a chunk of ham at the deli.

Ham and Brussels Sprout Tart Dijon

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

In this tart, a slab of leftover ham gains new life with Dijon-coated, roasted Brussels sprouts and savory Swiss cheese. We used Jarlsberg, but you can use the Swiss of your choice. Thaw the puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator for best results; you can rewrap and refreeze the second sheet in the package for another day.

flour, for dusting work surface

1 sheet (8 ounces) puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg
1 pound Brussels sprout, trimmed and halved if small, quartered if large
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup (4 ounces) cubed ham*
1 heaping cup (4 ounces) shredded
Swiss cheese

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Dust counter or work surface with flour. Unfold pastry onto floured surface and roll out to a 13×11-inch rectangle. Place the pastry on the parchment-lined pan.
  3. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush ½-inch rim with egg wash, fold over the pastry, and press with a fork in a few spots to seal. (Save the remaining egg wash for later.) Place in the refrigerator and chill 30 minutes.
  4. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, Dijon mustard, and thyme in a 9×13-inch baking dish, and roast, uncovered, until softened, 15 minutes. Place the pan on a rack to cool and add the chopped ham and toss to mix.
  5. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and brush the entire surface of the pastry with remaining egg wash. Cover the pastry with Brussels sprouts and ham and then sprinkle with Swiss cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is deep golden brown and the cheese has some golden spots. Cut in 6 pieces and serve.
    *No leftovers? Use 4 ounces (1/4 pound) deli ham.
Vietnamese Noodles with Ham and Cilantro, one of Robin Asbell's leftover ham recipes
Vietnamese Noodles with Ham and Cilantro

Photography Terry Brennan, Food Styling Lara Miklasevics

Vietnamese Noodles with Ham and Cilantro

Makes 4 Servings

Rice noodles are a fantastic way to get a meal on the table in a hurry. They cook in less than four minutes and soak up the flavors of this tasty sauce. Crisp, tender cabbage and carrots give the dish some snap, and the chopped ham is perfect with the sweet and sour flavors. Add Sriracha sauce to taste at the table so the folks who like it spicy can turn up the heat.

4 ounces rice vermicelli

2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot, julienned
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large scallions, white and green parts separated
1 1/2 cups chopped ham*
2 ounces bean sprouts or pea shoots
1/2 cup cilantro, torn

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop the noodles in the boiling water just until cooked, about 4 minutes—different brands will have different cooking times. Drain and rinse with warm water, and reserve.
  2. In a cup, add the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, and Sriracha sauce and stir to combine; reserve.
  3. Place a wok or large sauté pan over high heat, then drizzle in the canola oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the cabbage and carrot and stir for 1 minute, then add the garlic and the white parts of the scallions. Stir for a few seconds, then add the ham. Stir until everything is warmed, then add the noodles, stir, and drizzle the sauce over the contents of the pan. Stir and turn the mixture until heated through. Add the bean sprouts and the green parts of the scallions and stir. Serve topped with cilantro. Offer Sriracha sauce at the table.
    *No leftovers? Use 8 ounces (1/2 pound) deli ham.

Nutrition info (per serving)
• Ham and Brussels Sprout Tart: CALORIES 480 (296 from fat); FAT 34g (sat. 10g); CHOL 63mg; SODIUM 787mg; CARB 28g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 18g
• Vietnamese Noodles with Ham: CALORIES 293 (91 from fat); FAT 10g (sat. 2g); CHOL 33mg; SODIUM 1703mg; CARB 32g; FIBER 3g; PROTEIN 18g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.