This is a fabulously juicy sweet (the bacon, the caramelised shallots and the pomegranate molasses) and bitter (the red leaves) salad.
Somehow also the thyme is an important element as well.
This salad goes particularly well with something which needs some liquid – stuffed chicken breasts for example, or grilled meat with a baked potato.
If you wanted to turn this salad into a vegetarian salad, you could substitute the lardons for capers or dry-fried pecans.
The shallots and bacon should be warm. You can prepare this salad ahead of time, but reheat the shallots just before serving. The yoghurt should be at room temperature, or very gently warmed.
Don’t be tempted to buy ‘normal’, small shallots – you will be all day peeling them….
Recipe for red lettuce salty salad with shallots
• 1 head of red lettuce – oak leaf or lollo rosso, or red endive, or a mix of all
• 500g banana shallots – NB not normal shallots
• 200g smoked bacon lardons
• Olive oil
• Few sprigs of thyme
• 2 tbsps pomegranate molasses
• Salt and pepper (or Urfa pepper flakes)
• 80ml/⅓ cup runny yoghurt (if you have the very thick Greek type, loosen with a little oil and salt and pepper).
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Oil a roasting tin.
3. Peel and quarter the banana shallots and put in the roasting tin with the lardons, the thyme and the pepper.
4. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes – until the shallots and bacon are cooked through, stirring them a couple of times during the cooking process.
5. Wash and dry the lettuce, and tear out the leaves, lay out on a large platter.
6. Cover with the cooked shallots and bacon. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Serve with the yoghurt, loosened with a little more olive oil and some seasoning.