Bacon, egg and spinach salad with roasted tomatoes
Back bacon is far lower in fat than streaky bacon and if you remove the fat it’s actually quite a lean cut of meat. Served with crisp wholemeal croûtons and a perfectly poached egg, this is a salad to savour.
- 2 slices good-quality wholemeal bread
- drizzle olive oil
- 6 ripe baby plum tomatoes, halved
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 2 rashers back bacon, fat removed
- 2 very fresh free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vinegar (such as white wine vinegar)
- 250g/9oz baby spinach, washed
- 3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves torn
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Tear the bread into bite-sized pieces and scatter in an even layer over a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Place the tomatoes onto a separate tray, scatter with the sliced garlic, placing slices on top of the tomatoes and season with pepper. Place both trays in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown and crisp. Set aside and leave to cool.
Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until hot. Fry the bacon until charred on both sides and cooked through. Once cooked, chop into small pieces.
For the dressing, place all the ingredients into a clean jam jar or a small watertight tub. Add two tablespoons of water and seal. Shake until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (The dressing can be stored and used in other dishes as it will make more than you need for this salad.)
Bring a large pan of water to a simmer and add the white wine vinegar (don’t be tempted to add salt as this will cause the egg whites to disintegrate and will ruin your poached eggs). Crack the eggs into a small ramekin or dish. Briefly whisk the water to create a vortex before gently pouring the cracked eggs into the centre of the slowly spinning water. Poach for four minutes in gently simmering water, or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and drain thoroughly on kitchen paper.
To serve, put the bread pieces, roasted tomatoes, three-quarters of the chopped bacon and all of the spinach and basil into a large bowl. Spoon over 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to combine. Place onto serving plates and top with a poached egg. Season with pepper and sprinkle over the remaining bacon bits. Serve immediately.
When poaching eggs, use the freshest you can get your hands on as they’re far more likely to hold together.