Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Warm watercress and black pudding salad

I love the peppery taste of watercress although it's not always easy to find even in season (if I see a bunch or bag of it for sale I snap it up fast). As well as delicious in soup, watercress can also be wilted or stir-fried but it also makes a substantial supper salad. This takes only 15 minutes to make.

What you need:
A small bag of watercress
1-2 slices black pudding
2 rashers of bacon, snipped into pieces
A few walnut halves
Parmesan shavings
Walnut oil
White wine vinegar

What to do: 
Wash the watercress, drain then pat dry. Fry or grill the black pudding and the bacon. The bacon needs to be crispy. Drain on kitchen paper

Make a light dressing using a dessertspoon of walnut oil, a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Put the watercress on a plate and dress it. Scatter over the walnut pieces and crispy bacon. Crumble the black pudding into a small heap in the middle and scatter over the parmesan shavings.

Cook's tips: 
Make sure you wash the watercress thoroughly even if it comes ready-washed, as occasionally it can contain a water-borne parasite called liver fluke (watercress is grown in water).

If you don't eat meat, some roughly chopped hard-boiled egg is a tasty alternative.

Walnut oil is strictly for dressings - it has a wonderful distinct nutty flavour that can really lift a salad. A small bottle will last ages.