Monday, 5 January 2015

Crunchy Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad


This is one of those salads you eat when you need a health kick but you aren't quite ready to entirely sacrifice indulgence. 

January is famous for making everyone feel guilty about the most wonderful Christmas food, the wine, the extreme "I don't care it's Christmas!" attitude. This isn't helped by the 'New Year New You' marketing, splattering photos of men and women who clearly don't enjoy fun (or food) on every advert you happen to come across. 

This salad will help. You can make a stand with your bacon and your cheese, but still be green enough to take part (if desired) in the January health kick. It makes you feel good, is a great way to use up the left over Christmas cheese, if there is any, and it tastes wonderful. Entirely delicious and crunchiliciouly satisfying, it's hard not to eat the whole thing but, being so healthly - you're allowed.

Crunchy Bacon & Blue Cheese Salad

Quantities: Serves 2-3 for a light lunch or more for a starter

Timings: 15-20 minutes

Kitchen Stuff: A big salad bowl, frying pan, chopping board, steamers/pans sieve

Ingredients:
200g tenderstem broccoli 
200g bunch asparagus, trimmed
4-5 radishes, halved and sliced
100g (2/3 cup) peas
1 packet mixed baby leaves (rocket, watercress and spinach)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 - 100g (depending on taste) Gorgonzola or creamy blue cheese, cut into chunks
3 bacon rashers, crispified
Half a lemon

Method: 

1. CRISPY: Gently fry the bacon until crisp. When crisp, move to a plate covered with kitchen towel and dab to soak up any excess fat. Break into pieces.

2. STEAMY: Steam (or boil) the broccoli and asparagus for a few minutes until al dente. Boil the peas until just cooked. 

3.TOSS 'ER: Put broccoli, peas, asparagus, radishes and leaves in a large boil, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Toss well until all coated. Add the bacon bits and blue cheese chunks and toss lightly again until all mixed and gorgonzola is leaving a slight trail of creaminess as you mix it.

4. EAT: Serve straight away whilst still warm.

TIP: If you want to make this for tomorrows lunch, mix everything together beforehand except the baby leaves as these will go soggy overnight. Only mix in the baby leaves just before serving to make sure they stay fresh and green.