This salad initially started off as a Lentil & Bacon salad, made with tomatoes, red onion, sheep's pecorino cheese and a vinegary dressing. Having none of these ingredients in the kitchen the other day, I opted for a green type of salad with cooked bacon and toasted almonds thrown in. My little secret to avoiding salad dressings is to toast nuts or seeds and scatter them on top of salads for a bit of texture and a whole lot of flavour. I use sunflower seeds, pepitas, coconut chips, almonds, cashews, you name it. You could serve this salad sans (without) bacon and add a hard boiled egg or some more chickpeas to buff it up. I try to add meat to salads as it is a sneaky way for me to get my partner Chris to eat salads. Also omitting the lettuce makes him more partial to them. As the weather cools down at night, this warm salad is perfect for a light fall dinner.
- 80g bacon with fat removed, finely chopped
- 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, washed & drained
- 1/2 a large green capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 lebanese cucumber or 1/2 a continental cucumber, roughly chopped
- 1/2 an avocado, finely diced
- 1/4 cup almonds, whole or halved, toasted
- Optional-a handful of watercress
1. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon pieces when pan is hot and dry fry (using no oil) for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is golden.
2. Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, capsicum, cucumber and avocado in a medium to large salad serving bowl.
3. When the bacon has cooked, remove from heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding to the salad. Dry fry the almonds in the bacon pan over medium heat until toasted (you will be able to tell this when the air is fragrant with the smell of almonds). Remove from heat and toss the almonds and bacon in the salad bowl.
Serves / 2 for a very substantial meal
Total Preparation time / 10 minutes
Total Cooking time / 5 minutes