Friday, September 28, 2012


serves four

250 grams French beans, topped and tailed
4 tomatoes
1 fennel bulb
2 shallots, peeled
Olive oil, for frying
8 rashers of smoked bacon, preferably Alsace
8 fresh herrings, filleted but still with skin
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing
2 egg yolks
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 large canned anchovy fillets in olive oil
½ teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon Maille Dijon mustard
Splash of Tabasco sauce
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
250ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon

Make the dressing, in a liquidizer blitz the egg yolks, garlic, anchovy and both mustards with the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces. When well combined, pour in the olive oil in a slow steady stream, as for mayonnaise. When the emulsion becomes too thick (the consistency should be of barely pourable mayonnaise), add the lemon juice. Adjust the seasonings and, if still overly thick, add a little hot water.

Salt the boiling water and boil the beans in it until properly cooked. They must retain a vague resilience but should definitely not be crunchy. Remove them from the water and plunge them into a sinkful of very cold water to stop them cooking.

Blanch the tomatoes for 10 seconds or so to loosen the skins, refresh them in cold water and then skin and quarter them. Remove the seeds and cut the tomatoes into strips. Trim the tops of the fennel bulb and cut it in half. Cut off the bottom centimetre and then slice the bulb from top to toe into fine strips. Halve the shallots as well and cut them into similar strips. Mix all of the vegetables in a bowl with the dressing and set aside for 30 minutes.

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, place in the bacon rashers and cook gently until lightly coloured but not crisp. Remove and keep warm.

Season the herring fillets and fry them, skin side first, in the hot bacon-flavoured pan until they are sizzling away, about 2-3 minutes. Turn them over and leave for a few more seconds. This will give you a barely cooked herring fillet which is ideal if they are spankingly fresh.

To assemble, divide the salad into 4 tight piles, one on each plate. Then stack up 2 herring fillets and 2 rashers of bacon on top and garnish with the chopped parsley.

bacon recipe courtesy of: A Chefs

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