So I know black pudding is a bit of a crowd divider, but bear with me because this is a recipe that is guaranteed to please more than just the most vampiric of foodies.
Certainly black pudding has a time and a place. I personally find its rich, deep flavour a little wasted on eggs and bacon on my breakfast plate, but in salads is another story. In this case it gets the change to be the real hero of the dish.
Made from the blood of pigs, it is one of the best sources of iron and is very good for boosting the haemoglobin in red blood cells. Although it is is important you buy organic! I have a relatively low iron count (not anaemic, but close) and I find black pudding one of the best and easiest things to prepare.
For any of the less confident cooks, it is a great ingredient to cook with as it is very forgiving when it comes to cooking time. Other iron-rich foods, like livers, take precision and timings to perfect. Black pudding is really easy and rather foolproof by contrast.
It is naturally quite high fat source of protein, but don’t let that put you off, because it is this fat that works so well complimenting the subtle sweet greens of the salad. Cooked until golden and lightly charred on both sides, it breaks pleasingly into a mound of delicious crumbs. It also leaves behind a wonderful tasting oil that works wonders in the dressing. The only part missing (in the photo) was the addition of soft goats cheese, to melt into the hot crumbs and add a sharp, salty note to the dish. If you have it in the house, the goats cheese is highly recommended.
This sort of salad I would serve alongside either roast chicken and salt roasted new potatoes, for a lighter sunday roast option, or solo as a salad for lunch. It can also be boxed up in tupperware (keep the dressing separate) and be enjoyed as a meal on the go.
If you can get hold of black pudding, you can try chorizo, or merguez sausages instead.
Spring Green Salad with Crispy Black Pudding Recipe
Serves 2, as a main
- 2 baby gem
- 200g garden peas, or petit pois
- 2 disks black pudding, approx 100g
- 60g soft goats cheese, optional
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 clove garlic, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat a non stick frying pan on a high heat. Place the slices of black pudding on the grill plate and cook for 2-3 minutes each side until golden and crispy. Remove from the pan and flake apart onto a plate, discarding the skin. Keep the frying pan and the fat.
Wash and then chop the baby gem into wedges. If using frozen, run the peas under the tap to defrost, then dry throughly. Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl or platter and mix through 3/4 crumbled black pudding.
Leave the frying pan off the heat for a good 10 minutes to cool. You can then use it to make the dressing, by placing the remaining dressing ingredients in the pan, to mix with the rendered black pudding fat. Season to taste, adjusting to add a little more vinegar, if required, then pour the warm salad dressing juices straight over the salad.
Toss to combine and serve with the remaining black pudding on top. Enjoy warm.