One of the most beautiful things about Spanish cuisine is its simplicity. Each ingredient plays a starring role — bread, tomatoes, cured ham, olives, potatoes and so much more. That’s why we love Spanish Made Simple. It takes the already pared-down cuisine and spins it into something you’ll be delighted to make at home. This smoky grilled salad with bacon vinaigrette is sublime.
This is another of my mum’s dishes. She has always been famous in our family for her salads – which she brings to all family gatherings. I love the concept of hot salads, particularly in winter time when you need something to warm you up.
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 ounces smoked pancetta or bacon, diced
- A pinch sweet pimentón (sweet smoked paprika)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 heads little gem lettuce, sliced in half lengthways
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch sea salt
For the salad
Place the red onion in a small bowl and pour the sherry vinegar over the top. Set aside to marinate.
In a small pan over a high heat, dry-fry the pancetta or bacon until crisp. Sprinkle over the sweet pimentón and then the honey. After 30 seconds, pour over the sherry vinegar and onions to deglaze the pan. Turn the heat off under the pan and leave to sit.
Heat a separate pan over a high heat until it is as hot as possible. Place the lettuce halves in the pan, cut sides down, and cook for 1 minute, then drizzle with the olive oil and continue to fry for no longer than 1 minute. They will darken quite quickly without losing their raw texture.
Place the cooked lettuces on a serving platter, grilled sides up, and season with a little salt. Pour the hot vinaigrette over the top and enjoy.