Hot Bacon, Roasted Garlic & Watercress Salad


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  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 40m

This recipe is from the book Pork: Preparing, Curing and Cooking All That’s Possible From a Pig.

by Phil Vickery and Simon Boddy

Book Review

This salad may be very simple, but it’s also very tasty. The secret is to have everything prepared before you begin putting it together-trust me! Don’t be alarmed about the amount of garlic; once cooked it will lose most of its pungency. You can either whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or place them in a clean jar, screw on the lid, and shake well to combine. Don’t add the dressing to the salad until the last moment, otherwise the will collapse and wilt. To eat the garlic cloves, just squeeze them to pop the flesh out of the skins.


  • 2 heads of garlic
  • About 20 baby new potatoes, boiled and cooled
  • 3 cups watercress
  • 4½ oz bag mixed green salad leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12 thick-cut bacon slices, cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon


Step 1

Break up the heads of garlic so that all the cloves are separate, then cut off the hard root of each, but don't remove to much of the clove.

Step 2

Put the cloves in the skins into a small saucepan of salted boiling water and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, or until they are very soft, then drain.

Step 3

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and put the watercress and salad leaves in a large bowl.

Step 4

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan, add the bacon, and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, or until it starts to crisp up.

Step 5

Add the garlic (skins and all) and potatoes and cook until they are all golden brown.

Step 6

Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Step 7

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Pile equal amounts of the garlic, potato, and bacon mixture onto plates, then pile the salad leaves on top. Serve immediately.

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