I’m not overly convinced about sweet and savoury combinations normally but I think this recipe really works. It’s great to source nice salad recipes. I know some of my nearest and dearest would not associate nice and salad in the same sentence but trust me this is great. I have taken the recipe from Matt Preston’s Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious cookbook which I got as a lovely Christmas gift (Thanks Robyn :-)).
1 cos lettuce, dark leaves discarded and the paler inner leaves finely shredded
360g (3 cups) frozen peas, cooked
140g (1 cup) celery, cut into pea-size dice
100g (1/2 cup) green apple, peeled and cut into pea-sized dice
Juice of 1 lemon
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
160g (1 cup) pepitas
100g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
200g fresh ricotta, cut from a wheel at the deli counter, not in a tub
1 bunch mint, chopped
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 spring onions, cut into rings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1. Lay the shredded lettuce down the middle of a platter. Layer the peas and the celery on top. Toss the apple in the lemon juice and sprinkle over the platter.
2. Make the bacon and the pepita crunch. Fry the bacon in the butter until it’s tanned in places. Throw in the pepitas and let them start to toast. When some of the pepitas are starting to go golden at the edges, stir in the sugar and let it melt. Keep stirring and a caramel with form from the brown sugar and the rendered pork fat which will coat the pepitas and bacon. Sprinkle with come salt flakes and spread out on baking paper.
3. Now finish the salad. Crumble over the cheeses- large lumps of ricotta, smaller lumps of feta- and scatter on the herbs. Dress the salad with olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar. Smash up the pepitas of evil and strew over the top.