Egg, beetroot & bacon salad
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus 2 hrs chilling
- Serves 8
- 6 large eggs
- 750ml bottle beetroot juice (not a mix or a smoothie)
- 3 thick hand-cut slices of white bread
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- about 200g diced pancetta or unsmoked bacon lardons
- about 175g leaves - a mixture of pea shoots and baby leaves is nice, or try a whole head of frisée
- 250g pack cooked beetroot (not in vinegar), or homegrown (boiled until tender), diced
- 3 shallots , finely chopped
For the dressing
- STEP 1
Put the eggs in a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and set your timer for 8 mins if the eggs were from the fridge, 7 mins if at room temperature. When the time is up, immediately transfer the eggs to a colander, run under cold water to cool, then peel. Fully cover the peeled eggs with beetroot juice and chill for 2 hrs. Drain the eggs and discard the juice. Put the eggs back in the fridge. Can be done 1 day ahead.
- STEP 2
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the bread into neat cubes, then toss with the olive oil and some salt on a big baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 mins until golden brown and crisp. Can be made 1 day ahead – store in an airtight container when cool.
- STEP 3
Put the pancetta or lardons in a large, cold frying pan over a low-medium heat. Fry until crisp and golden, stirring occasionally. Lift out with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper to drain. Tip any remaining fat or juices into a jar and add the dressing ingredients. Season and shake well to mix.
- STEP 4
Bring the eggs to room temperature about 30 mins before assembling. Toss the leaves, croutons, pancetta, beetroot and shallots with the dressing on a platter (give the jar a good shake first). Halve the eggs and add to the salad.