Tuesday 5 May 2009

Avocado Mixed Leaf Salad with Bacon

Some days I just crave a nice big juicy leafy salad, with lots of different textures and bits mixed in. I hate buying prepared ones in shops, because more often than not they cost too much, skimp on the leaves, have one or more ingredients that you don't particularly like and leave you hungry at the end of it.

Of course Pret A Manger is an exception- their salads are utterly scrumptious (just like their sandwiches, wraps, soups, dried mango, pastries...), but £4 is still quite a lot for a small cardboard box and I always end up thinking of how many giant homemade bowls I could have thrown together myself for the same amount.

So here below, is my idea of the perfect salad- humongous, heaps of different leaves and colours/textures/flavours, slightly creamy with avocado and a tiny touch of mayo (no bottled dressings for me, mayo works just as well!) and sprinkled over with pine nuts and bacon or whatever I feel like depending on my mood. There are no set rules, just put what you want!

Serves 1

Two big handfuls of mixed salad leaves- easiest way I find is to buy several different packs of bagged salad and combine a bit from each :) I usually go for mild/tender varieties like lamb's lettuce, beetroot, batavia, chard, baby spinach, lollo rosso, iceberg, red oak leaf, tatsoi...

1 small tsp mayonnaise- toss well with the leaves until lightly dressed.

Add/sprinkle as desired:
1 large red tomato, sliced (*Tip: It is MUCH easier to cut tomatoes with a bread knife, steak knife or any other knife with a serrated edge rather than a flat one.)

1 ripe avocado (if you are an avocado virgin, please see "Easy Twisty Way of Cutting an Avocado" below)

1 slice bacon, cut into bits and fried until crisp
Handful of pine nuts, toasted
Grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Other options: shredded roast chicken/turkey, ham, hard boiled eggs, seafood sticks, thinly sliced red onions...

Devour! :)

Easy Twisty Way of Cutting An Avocado
Cut lengthwise all the way around (working around the seed) and twist the two halves apart.
Tap the blade of your knife so that it's wedged into the seed, and twist to remove.
Spoon the flesh out with a spoon.

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