Squash and streaky bacon salad with seeds, ricotta and shallots recipe image

Print Squash and streaky bacon salad with seeds, ricotta and shallots

This salad is designed to be served slightly warm. If you are feeling indulgent you can make your dressing with the warm bacon fat that remains after cooking the bacon. Just keep it on a gentle heat and whisk in the mustard and a tablespoon of vinegar. There should be no need to season with anything more than a little pepper. You’ll need to serve this immediately.

Category

Salad recipes  

Ingredients

  • 1 medium squash, peeled & chopped into 3cm chunks
  • Oil for roasting & frying, e.g. vegetable
  • 1 shallot, very finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 100g smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil
  • 100g salad leaves, washed & drained
  • 50g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
  • 125g ricotta
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Place the squash in the roasting tray, coat well in oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven to roast until just tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Place the shallot slices in a small bowl with the vinegar and sugar, mix well and leave to lightly pickle.
  3. Put a frying pan onto the heat with a very small amount of oil: the bacon will release plenty of fat. Cook the bacon over a medium heat until golden and crispy, about 6-8 minutes, turning once. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Reserve the bacon fat in the pan if choosing to make the dressing in the pan.
  4. While the bacon cools, make the dressing: remove 1 tablespoon of vinegar from the pickling shallots and whisk it thoroughly with the mustard and a good pinch of salt.
  5. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, adding it slowly so that you get a well combined dressing. When the bacon has cooled and become firm, break it into small, bite-size pieces.
  6. When the squash is cooked let it cool slightly for 10 minutes. Place it in a bowl with the salad leaves, bacon, pumpkin seeds and dressing. Mix well, pile onto plates and scatter over the ricotta.
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