This week has been weird! Our little pudding has gone off with her school on a residential trip, so it’s just been the two of us left behind. We’ve missed our little one very much but we have been making the most of our time together, we’ve been out every night! We’ve been hitting the local foodies hotspots and we even went to catch a movie! This is unusual for us, and I’ve not cooked once this week, until today when I decided I need to get back in the kitchen and actually cook something before I forget how to turn on the oven 😉 So I have made something just for us, my girl isn’t into this so much so this is the perfect opportunity to cook for just the two of us.
I’m calling this a warm Irish salad because it has all the elements of my favourite Irish food, tasty black pudding, creamy goat’s cheese, tender black kale, sweet roasted shallots and a tangy wholegrain mustard dressing. Not forgetting those thyme flavoured sourdough croutons! This warm salad is very rich and full of strong flavours, so this may not be for everyone but it is right up my street. Black pudding is one of my favourite foods from home, I tend to buy it as a treat these days much to the annoyance of my girl as she definitely has her taste buds firmly rooted in her Irish genes. She loves all of it except packet and tripe and I’m with her on that one.
So you can pull this warm salad together in roughly half an hour, you can skip the croutons if you wish but they are worth it especially if this is a special occasion type of meal. You could also make extra croutons of you want, they will keep for a week in an airtight container and they are excellent in a good soup. You could also use regular kale if you can’t get your hands on black kale, I found it easily enough though. I seem to be seeing more and more different types of kale in the supermarket these days maybe it’s down to the shortage of lettuce from Spain, I guess kale will have a little moment again.
The roasted shallots give this dish something sweet but the smoothness they add is essential so please don’t skip on those. I love all roasted onions but shallots I think are my favourite, they go perfectly with the creaminess of the goat’s cheese and the saltiness of the black pudding. You could easily turn this dish into a brunch, just omit the croutons and add a couple of soft boiled eggs and you have a very luxurious brunch, a new Irish breakfast for Paddy’s day maybe? Whichever way to make it I hope you enjoy it as much as we did x
- FOR THE SALAD
- 200g black kale, chopped and woody stalks removes
- 150g good quality black pudding, cut into rounds
- 150g goat's cheese, cut into rounds
- 1 tbs olive oil
- ½ the juice of one lemon
- FOR THE ROASTED SHALLOTS
- 220g shallots, skins removed and roots trimmed
- 1 tbs olive oil
- A couple of sprigs of thyme
- A small pinch of sea salt
- FOR THE THYME SOURDOUGH CROUTONS
- 150g day old sourdough bread, cut into cubes
- 1 tbs thyme leaves
- ½ tsp olive oil
- 80ml olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- FOR THE WHOLEGRAIN MUSTARD DRESSING
- 1 tbs wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- A small pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
- Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C, I use a fan assisted electric oven, please adjust according to your own oven.
- Make the croutons : add the thyme leaves to a mortar with a little oil, bruise the leaves with the pestle. Heat the oil in a skillet over a low to medium heat, add the thyme leaves. Drop a little bit of bread into the skillet if it sizzles then the oil is ready. Cook the bread in batches, turning as soon as each side is a nice golden colour. Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate covered with kitchen paper. When the paper has soaked up any extra oil place them on a cooling tray and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
- Next roast the shallots : add the shallots to an oven tray with the oil and thyme sprigs, roast for about 30 minutes depending on the size of the shallots, mine were medium sized, smaller ones will take less time to roast.
- Cook the black pudding: wipe the crouton skillet clean with some kitchen paper, heat the skillet then add the black pudding and cook each side until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes each side.
- Make the dressing : add the mustard and vinegar to a bowl and mix together, slowly whisk in the oil then add the seasoning, set aside until you are ready to use it.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in a large saute pan, add the kale and the lemon juice, turn over the kale until it is all coated in oil and lemon juice, keep turning the kale until it is slightly wilted, about 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
- Plate up the salad by adding the kale to a large serving dish, add the roasted onions, the black pudding, the goat's cheese and the croutons if using. Serve immediately with the dressing.