I’m on holiday, so for one week only, and in the best tradition of ‘Blue Peter’ – here’s one I made earlier – you get an easy to follow recipe for a warm bacon, prawn and feta cheese salad. With croutons…

Warm Tasty Salad

Quantities depend on how many you’re feeding. Obviously.

You will need for the salad:

Bags of mixed salad leaf
Cucumber
Assorted peppers (red, yellow or orange to add colour)
Cherry tomatoes
Capers
Prawns
Bacon
Feta Cheese
Garlic

And for the croutons

French Bread
Rosemary
Pumpkin seeds
Olive Oil

And for yourself, as you create this feast:

A bottle of agreeable Red Wine

Preparation:

So much more time efficient if you do this first, as everything is to hand and, much more importantly, ready at the critical juncture. Or you could always just fanny about. It’s up to you.

But make sure you’ve at least six receptacles to hand for this!

– First things first. Open the bottle of red wine and pour yourself a glass of it.
Check that you’ve got all the ingredients and the kitchen area where you’ll work is
clear of any unnecessary detritus. Drink some wine and congratulate yourself that
you’re going to create a tasty masterpiece. Finish the glass of wine.

– Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and decant into a receptacle.

– Cut the assorted peppers into then thin strips. Length-ways or not, it’s up to you!
Again, decant into a separate receptacle.

– Cut the cucumber lengthways into quarters, re-assemble and dice into quarters,
about half an inch or less thick and then decant into yet another receptacle.

– Pour yourself another generous glass of that very agreeable red wine. Have a sip or
two.

– Remove the fat from the bacon and cut the bacon into two-inch wide horizontal
strips. (A pair of kitchen scissors helps immeasurably with this bit.) Decant into
yet another receptacle.

– Roughly tear up the French stick into generous strips width ways. Tear the strips
open. Bung them in a large deep baking tray.

– Finely dice the garlic. How much to dice is up to you, obviously, but I tend to use
a whole clove. But that’s just me.

CLEAN UP THE MESS YOU MADE PREPPING. TRUST ME, THERE’S MORE MESS ON THE WAY.

Assembly:

– Open the bags of salad. Bung into salad bowls and bung in the cucumber.

– The strips of French bread. In the large deep baking tray? Bung in some rosemary,
pumpkin seeds and liberally douse in olive oil. Give it all a thorough stir. The
strips should be well saturated, but not sodden, by the oil, and generously
covered by the seeds and herbs. Bung in the oven at something like 180 degrees.
(Gas mark who the f*ck cares.)

– Heat a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil. On a lowish heat bung in the
chopped tomatoes and gently stir until they are softened but still have their
shape. Decant back into a small bowl.

– Using a thin baking tray, artfully place the pepper strips on it and season with
salt and pepper. Bung in oven, checking on the bread as you do so. If the bread
is drying to a crisp, add more olive oil. Actually, add some more anyway, then
stir and return.

– Using the same frying pan you used for the tomatoes, add a dash of olive oil and
a third of chopped garlic and under a low to medium heat, bung in half the bacon,
stirring as needed so it doesn’t stick to the pan, until it goes nice and crispy.
(This will take a while, so have another sip or three of that wine and don’t
worry if you need to pour the contents into a sieve over a sink at least once to
drain off fluid. This is wholly expected!). Decant crispy yumness into a bowl.

– Check on the French bread. If needed add olive oil and stir thoroughly. Don’t
scrimp. Also check the peppers. Don’t let them shrivel to a Quentin. When they’re
nicely blackened, yet still have colour, decant.

– Repeat the process you used to such great effect with the bacon with the other
half of the bacon and another third of the garlic. Decant into the same
receptacle where the other half of the bacon is, and while you’re at it, have
another sip or three of that very agreeable red wine with a small handful of the
bacon. You know you want to! After all, who is immune to the smell of fried
bacon?
A demented wrongcock, that’s who.

– Using the same pan, add a small amount of olive oil and some garlic. On a
moderate heat, warm – WARM – the prawns through (if you need to repeat the
drainage a la the bacon, do so- hey you knew it might happen). Decant into a….

– Check on the French bread again. The French bread should be golden and crispy.
If not, add more olive oil and give it a stir, and use the time to clear up

Because…..

NOW IT ALL HAPPENS AT ONCE, SO I WOULD SUGGEST YOU HAVING SOME
MORE WINE, BUT YOU NEED YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU. SO I WON’T.

– Get the salad bowls ready. Drain and add the capers and the peppers to the salad
bowls.

– Heat the largest frying pan you have and with a small amount of olive oil and the
rest of the garlic, On a moderate heat bung in all of the bacon until nice and
tasty. (You’re cooking, so you decide when its tasty)

– Then add the tomatoes to the bacon, warm them, stirring carefully to
keep their shape and then add the prawns.

– When the prawns are cooked, give the whole thing a gentle stir and a minute, then
add the whole lot into the salad bowls.

– Now things get messy. Crumble the feta cheese into the chaos that is the salad
bowls. the heat from the tomatoes, bacon and prawns will melt the feta and
negate any need for dressing. Give the salad a thorough stir to ensure equal
distribution of tasty yumness .

– Take out the French bread strips from the oven, which by dint of olive oil,
herbs, heat and your above all, your careful ministration, have become croutons.
Bung in a serving dish.

SERVE AT ONCE WITH THE CROUTONS

These instructions whilst comprehensive, are informed by my own experience of recipe instructions whereby they’d be vague to the first timer, who needs clear guidance. And also advising one to do something one should really have done earlier.

It really is quite simple, honestly, depending as it does on that well known martial art,ti ming.

By the way, this was all nicely formatted until the WordPress editor f*cked the whole thing up. I’ve tried twice to rectify it, but to no avail. And, as the sun is shining..