BLT Salad With Bacon-Fried Croutons
As the saying goes, you don't make friends with salad? unless that salad has bacon in it. After pan-frying the bacon, the rendered fat is used to toast the croutons to a state of salty, porky goodness, then the whole salad is finished with a mayo vinaigrette.
6 slices streaky bacon
2-3 thick slices sourdough bread, cut into 2cm cubes
1 head butter lettuce
2-3 large ripe tomatoes
1 tbsp snipped chives
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Cut the bacon strips into three or four pieces and place in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.
Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the bread cubes to the hot bacon grease. Cook for 3-5 minutes, turning to brown all sides, until golden. Remove using the slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain.
Cut the core off the lettuce and separate the leaves. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, then roughly tear the leaves and arrange on a platter. Slice the tomatoes and scatter them over the lettuce. Arrange the croutons and bacon on top, then sprinkle with the chives, pepper and salt, to taste.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and whisk to combine. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad before serving.
Extracted from Hardcore Carnivore by Jess Pryles (Murdoch Books, approx €22). Photography by Mark Roper.