All salads are not created equal and I don’t remember the limp overly leafy salads of my childhood with much love. However, put together well, a salad can be as exciting a meal as any other. This is a salad I regularly knock up at home and it’s always a winner. The recipe below is for two as a main course but you could divide it by four and serve it as a starter.
Beetroot, goats cheese and pancetta salad
1 bag of mixed baby salad leaves
4 – 5 cooked baby beetroots, sliced (Sainsburys does an amazing pack of sweet baby beetroots that is ridiculously good)
80g pancetta lardons (again Sainsbury’s does a herbed variety that is delicious)
80g goats cheese (the unrinded, soft creamy variety)
8 baby tomatoes, halved
A handful of pumpkin seeds
Heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Shake them around occasionally until they are toasted. You will hear them popping. Make sure not to burn. Set the pumpkin seeds aside and add the pancetta to the pan. Fry until crispy and then transfer to a plate with a piece of kitchen roll on it to drain off any excess fat.
Divide the leaves between two large plates. Spread out the sliced beetroot and tomatoes over the leaves, Then crumble over the goats cheese and sprinkle over the pancetta and pumpkin seeds.
Finally finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a starter.