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            Curly Endive Salad

            A meal that packs a protein punch, this salad showcases the very best of fresh with a well-formed poached egg taking centre stage. Created in less than 30 minutes, it can be scaled up to serve more than four with ease, and it uses cling film to keep your egg in shape for the perfect poach.


            1 small shallot
            100g unsmoked bacon rashers
            80g baguette
            2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
            Sea salt and milled black pepper
            4 tablespoons groundnut or grapeseed oil
            2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
            30g butter, melted
            4 large eggs
            200g curly endive or mixed lettuce with curly endive


            1. Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer.
            2. Finely chop the shallot, and cut the bacon into 4cm chunks. Cut the baguette into 2cm cubes.
            3. Make a vinaigrette by mixing the shallot, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil, starting with half a teaspoon at a time. When all the oil is incorporated, whisk in the mustard. The vinaigrette should be thick but fluid. Keep to one side.
            4. Cook the bacon in a frying pan over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the baguette cubes and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have crisp, golden croutons. Remove from the heat and keep covered.
            5. Line a small bowl or a teacup with a 35cm square of cling film, and brush lightly with melted butter. Crack an egg in the centre. Gather the sides of the cling film, letting out all the air, and twist tightly. Repeat with the other eggs. Drop the cling-filmed eggs in the simmering water and cook for 6 minutes. Remove and keep to one side.
            6. Mix the leaves and vinaigrette. Divide the salad between 4 plates and arrange the bacon and croutons on top. Carefully unwrap the eggs and place one on top of each salad.

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