Like an ever growing percentage of the UK population, I am eating far less meat. But I can’t resist bacon, especially crispy bacon, if I see it on a menu. Well, this Candied Bacon Salad from Jamie Oliver has crispy and sweetened bacon, so it’s a no brainer for me. With the addition of ruby pearls of pomegranate and fresh mint, this salad is colourful and tastes even better than it looks!
Candied Bacon SaladCourse: Main Meals
12 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
1 clove of garlic
3 slices of fresh white bread
2 heaped tablespoons demerara sugar
1 clementine, juice of
5 large handfuls mixed salad leaves
1 bunch of fresh mint
FOR THE DRESSING:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 heaped tablespoon natural yoghurt
extra virgin olive oil
- Put all the dressing ingredients into a large serving bowl with 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then whisk together, and season to taste – you want it to be slightly too acidic, so add a splash more vinegar, if you think it needs it.
- Place the bacon in a large frying pan on a medium heat and cook until lightly golden (but not really crispy), turning occasionally, then remove to a plate.
- Peel and squash the garlic clove, add it to the pan, then turn the heat up a little. Tear the bread into bite-sized chunks, then drop into the pan so they suck up all the flavours and become crispy. If your bacon doesn’t release a lot of fat and you think the bread needs a little help to crisp up, simply add a little olive oil.
- Season with a pinch of black pepper, then shake the bread around until golden and crisp, then remove to the plate.
- Wipe the pan clean with a ball of kitchen paper, then put the bacon back in with the sugar and the clementine juice. Carefully stir everything around in the pan so the syrup starts to stick to the bacon.
- As soon as the rashers are perfectly caramelised and sticky, use tongs to carefully move them to an oiled plate and leave to cool down for 1 minute. Whatever shape you leave the bacon in at this point is how it will set, so give the rashers a bend or a twist.
- Grab the bowl of dressing and add the salad leaves. Halve the pomegranate, then, holding one half cut side down in your fingers, bash the back of it with a spoon so the seeds tumble over the salad, and repeat with the other half.
- Pick and add the mint leaves, then use your hands to toss and dress everything thoroughly.
- Lightly toss the croutons through the salad, lay the candied bacon on top, then pass the bowl around the table and let everyone serve themselves.
- You can vary the lettuces and salad leaves, and the fruit too: apples, pears, peaches, figs and grapes are all possibilities.
Or how about these Cheesy Bacon and Egg Muffins? RECIPE HERE