½ ciabatta loaf
about 250ml olive oil
200 grams rindless streaky bacon
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 little gem lettuces
about 100 grams marinated anchovy fillets (not tightly packed in oil)
about 100 grams thin shavings parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 fat clove garlic, roughly crushed
2 tablespoons grated fresh parmesan
1 large free-range egg
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 anchovy fillets, from above
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Make the croutons first. Cut the bread into approximately 1.5cm cubes and put into a shallow bowl. Trickle over about 100ml of the oil and toss well into the cubes. Spread on a baking sheet.
Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5, and bake the bread cubes for about 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until golden-brown. Remove to cool and crisp.
Lay the bacon on a sheet of nonstick baking parchment in a single layer. Top with another layer of paper and another baking sheet. Bake the bacon for about 10 minutes, then remove the top sheet and paper layer. Brush the rashers with the maple syrup and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so until crisp and glazed. Remove, cool and break into bite-sized pieces. Set aside with the cubes.
Separate out the lettuce leaves, wash and spin if necessary, then tip into a large food bag and chill until ready to serve.
Reserve three anchovy fillets for the dressing, and separate out the others, ready for serving.
To make the dressing, put everything into a blender from the garlic to the Worcestershire sauce. Blitz until smooth and creamy, then slowly, with the blades still running, trickle in the remaining 150ml oil to a smooth emulsion. Add some hot water to thin the dressing down a little so it mixes into the leaves nicely.
When ready to serve, divide the leaves between six medium-sized plates. Trickle over the dressing, and scatter on the bread cubes, anchovies and crispy bacon. Top each serving with parmesan shavings.
bacon recipe courtesy of: Gordon Ramsay, The Times, London, UK, October 3, 2007