For breakfast this morning I had leftover pizza. Och, there's no shame in that. I'm a man. I've done much worse than that, trust me. Besides, there was one hefty slice left in the box, no porridge oats left in the cupboard, and it was a shame to waste it. Have you any idea how hard it is to find real porridge oats in Spain? People are suspicious of trying different foods in some countries, so Scottish porridge to a Spaniard is definitely different.
The culture in Spain has on occasion appeared very different to many. For instance, I took Siobhan along to see a bull fight during her very first holiday in Spain some years ago. I must admit that we thought it would be fun, but I can honestly say that we have never been so appalled and upset by such an event involving animals and weaponry in years.
It cost 18 euros to get in, a can of coke was another 6 euros, and our seats were so far at the back that we could hardly see the cows getting stabbed.
Okay. Seriously, if you have ever had a very angry Viking amazon poke you in the chest and reprimand you over your stance on dried herbs, you will recognise my sheer terror last night. I have had to come up with something tasty, but non fattening for my lovely Pony-doll as she doesn't have access to fresh herbs during the 11 month winters in the snowy wilds of Manitoba. Too busy skinning buffalo's and walking across frozen rivers with tennis rackets strapped to her feet if you ask me.
To create the perfect Ponita salad you will require:
50g blanched hazelnuts
1 tsp olive oil (extra virgin if possible)
8 rashers dry cured, smoked, streaky bacon
1 crisp eating apple
70ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp clear honey
120g blackberries or red grapes if blackberries are not available
100g baby spinach
Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for around seven minutes, until just golden. Chop the hazelnuts roughly, swear if you have to.
Warm half a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the bacon, until just crisp. Be sure and drain off the excess fat.
Quarter the apple and core it; halve each quarter and lay length ways, they must face east to west, never north to south. Don't question me as to why, just do it, okay?
Remove all but two tablespoons of fat from the frying pan. Add the butter and sauté the apple slices over a medium-high heat for four minutes, until golden on both sides. Remove to a warm plate, not tepid, not cold, warm...
Put the vinegar and honey in the pan and allow it to bubble and scoosh for 30 seconds. Add the blackberries, stir and remove from the heat.