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    Bacon and Parsnip Crisp Salad

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    Bacon and Parsnip Crisp Salad

    Serves: 6


    • Salt
    • 250g small shallots
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • A few sprigs of thyme
    • 2 large parsnips
    • Sunflower oil for deep frying
    • 225g smoked back bacon, diced
    • 1 bunch watercress, washed and trimmed into small sprigs
    • 200g mixed salad including curly endive and radicchio
    • Vinaigrette
    • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Peel the shallots and toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lightly season, then place into a small roasting pan with some sprigs of thyme and cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour. The shallots should be meltingly soft and golden. If they need a little more colour, remove the foil covering.
    2. Meanwhile, trim and peel the parsnips. Cut into thin slices lengthways (if possible, use a mandoline) and mix into a large bowl of water as you do so. Then drain and rinse under the cold tap before either drying in a salad spinner or in a clean tea towel.
    3. Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 190°C. Add a batch of sliced parsnips and fry for about a minute until they are golden and crisp. Remove and toss in kitchen paper, then set aside in a large bowl and lightly salt.
    4. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the bacon until crisp and golden. Remove and toss in kitchen paper.
    5. Place the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil. It should form a thick emulsion. Season to taste. Put the watercress and salad leaves in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm bacon and warm shallots and dress with the vinaigrette. Toss in the crisps and divide between 6 plates. Serve immediately.

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