However! A rushed night is the perfect opportunity for a quick, healthy and amazingly tasty dinner. This is one for people who like strong flavours. It is my version of my mother's adaptation of a Nigella Lawson salad from her book 'How to Eat'.
It is a warm salad, which may sounds bizarre, or like you will still need to eat half a pizza afterwards but trust me you won't.
- Bacon Lardons, or Pancetta. I used half a pack of bacon ones from Tesco and that was a perfect amount for me alone!
- Salad leaves, a peppery salad will work best with the strong flavours in this dish, I used spinach, rocket and watercress. If you prefer something else though, go for it.
- a tbsp of olive oil
- a tsp of mustard
- a tsp of balsamic vinegar
- parmesan shavings
- an egg (optional)
- two cloves of garlic
My mum's version uses red wine vinegar instead of balsamic, and she also occasionally uses chorizo instead of bacon. Nigella on the other hand adds chestnuts and also doesn't use parmesan. Basically, if you think something would work better, chuck it in!
All the ingredients are very healthy as well, the bacon fries in it's own fat and half a packet fried only amounts to 80 calories. Small amounts of cheese are good for you, eggs are brain food and salad is... salad.
So lets get down to it.
- Put the oil in a small frying pan on a high heat and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes, when it starts to brown STOP. Then, fish the garlic out with a spoon and chuck it. I leave a bit in, but it's main purpose is to flavour the oil. (By all means, skip this step and use garlic oil if you have it).
- Then, add the lardons. It will only take a few minutes for them to go golden brown and crispy, cook them until they are as well done as you like but it shouldn't be more than five. Once you've cooked them, use a slotted spoon or just fish them out of the pan, leaving the juices behind and lay the lardons on the bed of salad leaves.
3. Then, to the remaining juices from the bacon in the pan, you want to add your tsp of mustard (I used dijon but I think a corse grain mustard would work better) and your tsp of balsamic vinegar.
Mix the whole lot together on the heat for a couple of seconds and then drizzle onto the bacon and lardons.
4. Top the salad off with your parmesan shavings, as much or as little as you want, or none at all.
5. To finish mine off, I fried an egg in the remaining oil left in the pan, to make sure I was full at the end of it!
And voila. The whole thing should take no longer than 15 minutes to make, is filling, cheap and healthy. Perfect start to the week.
The end result.
My monday outfit consisted of another gorgeous Urban Outfitters dress, which I wear with an old belt of my mums, but looks just as great without. Worn with my trusty black patent DMs.