Omar Allibhoy is a Spanish celebrity chef, the founder of the Tapas Revolution Group in London. Today he sat down with Felicity Carter and share with us one of his favorite recipes.

Grilled lettuce with a sweet and sour bacon vinaigrette by Omar Allibhoy

Also known as ‘Cogollos de Tudela con Vinagreta de pancetta’ this has both sweet and sour notes to hit all the tastebuds.

This is another of my mum’s dishes. She has always been famous in our family for her salads – which she brings to all family gatherings. I love the concept of hot salads, particularly in wintertime when you need something to warm you up.

Serves 4

½ red onion, sliced
4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
50g smoked pancetta or bacon, diced
A pinch sweet pimento
1 tablespoon honey
2 heads little gem lettuce, Sliced in half lengthways
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
A pinch sea salt

Place the red onion in a small bowl and pour the sherry vinegar over the top. Set aside to marinate.

  • In a small pan over high heat, dry-fry the pancetta or bacon until crisp. Sprinkle over the sweet pimentón and then the honey. After 30 seconds, pour over the sherry vinegar and onions to deglaze the pan. Turn the heat off under the pan and leave to sit.
  • Heat a separate pan over high heat until it is as hot as possible. Place the lettuce halves in the pan, cut sides down, and cook for 1 minute, then drizzle with the olive oil and continue to fry for no longer than 1 minute. They will darken quite quickly without losing their raw texture.
  • Place the cooked lettuces on a serving platter, grilled sides up, and season with a little salt. Pour the hot vinaigrette over the top and enjoy.

From his book, Spanish Made Simple.

Chef Omar Allibhoy Cookbook

Learn how to make this dish at one of his courses held at Leiths School of Food and Wine. You can also sample his food at one of his restaurants, Tapas Revolution.

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