Lettuce with black pudding, thyme croûtons, & mustard dressing

Lettuce with black pudding, thyme croûtons, & mustard dressing

By
From
Gather
Serves
2
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

A good butterhead is a really unique lettuce – it’s tender, bright, light and incredibly quenching to eat. I like it most sodden in mustardy French dressing (as here), and I even like it when it goes soft, like it’s been dressed for supper, uneaten and left out all night. However, it’s not just the dressed leaves of the butterhead that make this warm salad so good. Proper, sweet black pudding, fried crisp on the outside and fatty-soft in the middle, and crunchy croûtons untempered in the folds of the leaves make the whole thing magical.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 small butterhead lettuce
or 1/2 large butterhead lettuce
200g Black pudding with sage, onions & duck eggs
1 tablespoon light oil or olive oil, for frying
4 slices rustic white bread, or sourdough
1 knob butter, for frying
1 small bunch thyme sprigs, leaves picked
2 large spring onions, trimmed and sliced
or 4 small spring onions, trimmed and sliced
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 teaspoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons golden caster sugar
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, bruised
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. First, make the dressing. Put all the ingredients, including the seasoning, in a clean jam jar or a small bowl, and shake or stir until thoroughly combined.
  2. Cut the base from the lettuce and separate the leaves. Give them a good wash in cold water, taking care not to bruise them. Drain the leaves and then dry them in a salad spinner.
  3. Slice the black pudding into thick 3cm rounds, then peel away the skin and discard. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Add the black pudding and fry, turning occasionally, for 7–8 minutes, until it starts to crisp around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat, then remove the black pudding from the pan and keep warm. Remove the crusts from the bread and tear each slice into rough, croûton-sized pieces. Place the pan back on the heat and add the butter. When it’s bubbling away, throw in the bread pieces and fry, turning frequently, until crispy and golden on all sides. Season with a pinch of salt, sprinkle over the thyme leaves, then take the pan off the heat and set aside.
  4. Place enough lettuce leaves for two people in a large bowl together with the sliced spring onions. Spoon over half the dressing and carefully turn the leaves to coat them.
  5. Divide the lettuce and spring onion mixture equally between two large plates. Place the warm black pudding next to the leaves and scatter over the croûtons. Finish with an extra drizzle of dressing for each plate and serve.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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