Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Bacon and Pear Salad

An Autumn salad, for that is when the pears ripen. But of course nowadays we can get just about anything we like all year round and my pears came from the United States. 

- Start by frying some bacon slices. I had some pancetta that Nicola’s brother kindly sent us as a Christmas present but unsmoked Streaky would be nice as well.
- Make a dressing. I used three tablespoons of olive oil (not extra virgin, just the ordinary stuff that I use for cooking) mixed with one of redwine vinegar along with two teaspoonfulls of grainy mustard and the same of damson jelly if you have it or honey if you do not, and a little salt and black pepper.
- Meanwhile fill some bowls with a little nest of green lettuce leaves - not iceberg please, but the floppy type that you get in the summer.
- Mix in a couple of sliced spring onions and some cucumber sliced thinly into discs and then cut again into semicircles.
-Take a pear and cut some wedge shaped slices vertically from it and tuck them in amongst the lettuce leaves.
- Once the bacon is just crispy, take it off the heat and tearing the slices into strips tuck them amongst the pear slices.
- Top with the dressing and serve immediately before the lettuce wilts from the heat of the bacon.

The idea of seasonal eating has always appealed to me, but it was not until we moved here to New Zealand from the UK that I actually tried it. Before it was always just such a temptation to have green beans or cherry tomatoes in the middle of Winter, but now I cannot describe the pleasure I get when the asparagus or cherries appear in the shops for that brief few weeks that they are available. It keeps me alive and inspired to cook new things. I like that.`

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