Crispy Bacon Salad with Black Pudding and Poached Eggs
4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
175g/6oz black pudding, skinned and cut into 1cm/½in slices
4 rashers of dry-cured bacon, rind removed
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
½ tsp runny honey
4 eggs (as fresh as possible)
175g/6oz mixed baby salad leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve
This lovely, light salad is packed full of flavour. Don't be tempted to overcook the black pudding -- it needs no more than a minute on each side. The egg on top is also delicious fried. Serves four.
1Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the black pudding and cook for one minute on each side until tender. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and cover with foil to keep warm.
2Snip the bacon into thin strips into the pan, then increase the heat a little and sauté until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
3Pour two teaspoons of the vinegar into the pan, being careful of any spitting fat, then turn up the heat and scrape the sediment in the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze for about 30 seconds until almost all the vinegar has been boiled off. Stir the mustard into the reduced-down vinegar along with the honey and then pour everything into a small bowl. Whisk in the remaining olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4To poach the eggs, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the remaining vinegar to the water, season with salt and reduce to a very gentle simmer. Carefully break the eggs into the water and simmer for three to four minutes until just cooked but still soft on the inside. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, trimming away ragged edges of white.
5Place the salad leaves in a large bowl. Break the black pudding into pieces, scatter them over the salad with the bacon, then drizzle with the dressing. Arrange on four plates. Top each one with a poached egg and some freshly ground black pepper. Serve with crusty bread.