Baby spinach bistro salad
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , peeled but left whole
- 8 rashers smoked back bacon , chopped into large pieces
- 1 small baguette loaf (about 125g), cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 eggs
- 200g pack fine French bean , trimmed
- 140g mild blue cheese , crumbled into chunks
- 200g bag baby spinach , washed if necessary
For the dressing
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- STEP 1
For the dressing, whisk the mustard and vinegar together with some salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of water. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil and set aside.
- STEP 2
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a lowish heat and add the garlic and the bacon. Cook the bacon slowly until starting to sizzle, then add the bread to the pan and toss in the bacon juices. Fry everything together slowly (this can take a good 15 mins) until the bacon is ultra-crisp and the croûtons are crunchy, drizzling the pan with a little more oil if it becomes dry. Once cooked, fish out the garlic clove and set the pan aside.
- STEP 3
While the bacon is cooking, tip the eggs into a pan of boiling water and boil for exactly 7½ mins. Cool in cold water, then peel and set aside. Cook the beans in a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 5 mins or until slightly crunchy but still bright green. Drain, tip into a pan of ice-cold water, then drain again and set aside.
- STEP 4
To serve, tip everything except for the eggs and dressing into a large bowl. Drizzle over the dressing and toss gently with your hands. Scatter the salad over a serving platter, halve the eggs and strew over the salad, seasoning the yolks with sea salt flakes and a grind of black pepper.