This is a great salad for an easy weekday dinner. As the weather gets (dare I say it) a little more spring-like, it’s perfect: a little bit cold, but with a bit of warmth. If you’ve got time on your side, you can make the mayonnaise from scratch, but I think of this as something to make after a day at work, so I’ll be reaching into the fridge for a jar of good quality ready made mayo!
I love to make the croutons with some focaccia or sourdough, but you can choose your favourite bread for this. I’ve suggested half a loaf, but that’s up to you really and depends how hungry you are.
If you are vegetarian, just call it LT salad and leave out the bacon.
This should serve four, but I have been known to eat more than my fair share of this.
8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
100g cherry tomatoes
½ focaccia or ciabatta loaf or a couple of slices of your favourite sourdough
4–5 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1–2 tbsp water
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
150g salad leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
Remove the rind from the bacon rashers and stretch each one on a board with the back of a knife to make them even thinner, then place them on a baking tray with the tomatoes.
Cook the bacon and tomatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and brown and the tomatoes have softened and begun to colour a little.
To make the croutons, cut the bread into 1.5cm cubes or tear into pieces for a more rustic vibe. Place in a bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and stir to coat the bread evenly. Tip the bread onto an oven tray, spread out and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.
Bring a pan of water to the boil, then gently lower the eggs in using a spoon. Simmer over a medium heat for six minutes for a runny egg, a little longer if you prefer your eggs a bit firmer. Drain the eggs and place them in a bowl of cold water to stop them cooking. When the eggs are cool, peel them and cut in half.
Whisk the mayonnaise, water and mustard together to a thick, pourable dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the salad leaves in your serving bowl, then snap the bacon into pieces and add them to the bowl. Add the tomatoes and dressing, toss the salad then finish with the croutons and eggs.