Healthy eating advocate MELISSA HEMSLEY on a spring-meets-summer salad with savvy swaps for all year round
For when asparagus is in season and the warm weather is luring you outside for your lunch break. This is delicious served cold as part of a packed lunch or picnic but also very tasty as a warm dish with the bacon and asparagus straight from the oven and the eggs still hot, yolks oozing. Be sure to use good-quality bacon or alternatively swap the bacon for a handful of anchovies or fried halloumi slices.
SERVES 3-4 AS A PACKED LUNCH OR SIDE
6 rashers of bacon
350g asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off
leaves of 4 little gem lettuces
200g tomatoes, sliced (or halved if cherry tomatoes)
flesh of 1 large avocado, cubed
FOR THE DRESSING
2 tbsp chives, chopped
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat the grill to high, or the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9, and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together and seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place the bacon rashers and asparagus spears on the lined baking tray and either grill for 6-8 minutes (turning halfway) or roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with boiling water and cook the eggs on a medium simmer for 6½ minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to cool in cold or iced water before peeling and cutting in half.
- Place the lettuce leaves, tomatoes and avocado in a large serving bowl, drizzle over half the dressing and gently toss. Roughly chop up the cooked bacon and scatter over, along with the hot asparagus and egg halves, then drizzle over the rest of the dressing to serve.
TOP SWAPS When asparagus is out of season, make this with green beans or stems of broccoli.
Recipe from Eat Happy by Melissa Hemsley, published by Ebury, price £20. To order a copy visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15