Lois Daish’s Welsh Rarebit Dip and Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Food columnist at The Listener

My mother always served Welsh Rarebit as a dip, rather than grilled on toast. My guess is that this innovation began as a mistake when the mixture was too runny to spread. It certainly appealed to me as child, and we’re now into the fourth generation of making it this way in my family.

The salad is another of my mother’s favourites, and regularly served by her descendants. In summer, I remember it was often on the table for Sunday lunch with cold roast meat, sautéed potatoes and chutney. Whether you make it ahead of time or just before serving, it’s wonderfully juicy and makes a fine accompaniment for many meals.

– Lois Daish

Image of Welsh Rarebit Dip and Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Welsh Rarebit Dip and Tomato and Cucumber Salad



Rarebit Dip:

  • 1 1/2 cups grated tasty cheese or vintage cheddar
  • 1 tsp flour
  • Pinch mustard powder
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg yolk

To serve:

  • Toast soldiers
  • Crisp apple wedges (optional)
  • Ripe tomato wedges (optional)

Thinly Sliced Tomato and Cucumber Salad:

  • 2 full-flavoured red tomatoes
  • 1 apple cucumber or small plump green cucumber, peeled, seeds scooped out, and thinly sliced (or 1/2 a telegraph cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • Small handful tender mint leaves, left whole if small or roughly torn if larger
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mild oil, such as sunflower oil

Let’s Cook

Welsh Rarebit Dip

Mix cheese and dry ingredients in a small saucepan, then add the milk. Stir over a very gentle heat until the cheese melts, but without letting it come anywhere near the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolk. Return to gentle heat and stir for a few seconds to allow the yolk to thicken. Pour into two small heated ramekins and serve with toast soldiers.


  • You can change the seasonings as you wish. Paprika, cumin, and berbere, a wonderful Ethiopian spice mixture, are all good in this dip.

Thinly Sliced Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Place tomatoes in a heat proof bowl, pour in boiling water to cover, and leave for 10 seconds. Remove tomatoes and slip off the skins. Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible and put in a shallow bowl. Add cucumber, mint, and chives. Season generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sugar, vinegar and oil and gently mix together. Serve immediately or, if serving later, spoon the liquid from the bottom of the bowl over the vegetables from time to time.


  • I sometimes include a green capsicum, peeled with a potato peeler then thinly sliced.
  • The dressing is also good with just tomato, or just cucumber.

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