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Christmas Eve lunch – a simple winter salad of warm potatoes, crispy bacon, chopped celery leaves and a dressing of mustard, cider vinegar and shallots. 

This was my first attempt at this delicious sounding salad from Rose Prince’s The New English Table – I tried to follow the amounts for the dressing, but it wasn’t quite how I wanted it, so I just tweaked the ingredients until I was happy. 

Winter potato, bacon and celery leaf salad

Feeds 4

20 new potatoes
6 rashers of streaky bacon
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
175ml olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
Handful of celery leaves
2 shallots
Salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until done.  Drain and cut in half or quarters.

Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crispy.

Mix together the sugar, mustard, olive oil and water – I like to use a jam jar as you can screw on the lid and shake it.  Add the shallots, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pop the cooked potatoes into a bowl.  Tear up (or cut up) the crispy bacon and add to the potatoes.  Drizzle over the dressing and sprinkle over chopped celery leaves.  Stir everything together.

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I remember drinking Robinson’s Barley Water squash as a child, so it is lovely to discover that this derives from an old-school drink.  This recipe is care of Rose Prince’s New English Kitchen, although I used some of my leftover sugar syrup from my homemade lemonade rather than sugar to sweeten.

Homemade Orange Barley Water

225g approx. pearl barley
2.5 litres water
6 oranges
2 lemons
sugar to taste (or sugar syrup)

Wash the barley well before putting it in a saucepan and covering with the water.

Bring to the boil, then lower to a gentle simmer and cook for up to an hour or until the barley is tender. (Note – I think I let mine cook too long and ended up with less leftover liquid than I think I should have).

Strain the barley over a dish to catch the barley water.  You can keep the cooked barley to use in another dish.  Leave the liquid to cool.

While the barley water is cooling, zest 3 of the oranges and 1 lemon.  Juice all of the fruit. 

When the barley water is cool stir in the zest and juice.  Add sugar or sugar syrup to taste – Rose Prince says it should not be too sweet.

Now I decided to strain the liquid to remove the zest – I let it sit a while first – as we didn’t fancy ‘bits’ in our barley water.  It was also unclear from the recipe whether you should dilute the barley water, so we did to taste.

Rose Prince says it will keep for a day or two in the fridge – ours didn’t last out the day, it was too delicious and refreshing!

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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