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Bacon & Nectarine Salad

from Pig: A Passion for Pork by Johnny Mountain
Bacon & Nectarine Salad

5 to 6 thick smoked bacon slices
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
7 ounces baby spinach leaves
l large nectarine, pitted and thinly sliced
3/4 cup pecan halves, roughly broken
1 fresh red chili, seeded and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crusty bread, to serve

Serves 4

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in Johnny Mountain's
Pig: A Passion for Pork


The contrast of the crisp, salty bacon with the sweet maple syrup will make your taste buds dance with delight!

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the bacon in a single layer on a wire rack set over a roasting pan, lined with foil. Roast 10 minutes, then brush both sides of the slices with the maple syrup and roast 2 to 3 minutes longer until golden and slightly crisp. Remove the bacon from the oven and leave it to cool 2 minutes, because the maple glaze will be very hot, then break into bite-size pieces.

2) Whisk together the oil and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper. Put the spinach in a large serving bowl and toss with most of the dressing. Add the nectarine and bacon and gently mix in. Scatter the pecans and chili over the top. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad and serve immediately with slices of crusty bread.

Johnnie's tip:
Roasting bacon on a rack in the oven is a great way to cook it for large numbers of people. You can also flavor it with other ingredients, such as paprika, honey or even a little apricot jam that has been thinned with a small amount of water to make it more spreadable.

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