Devils on horseback, the posh name for prunes wrapped in bacon, are to my mind one of the best canapés ever invented. If someone puts a plateful in front of me I won’t stop eating until they’re gone, I practically inhale the suckers. When I make them I always try to have a few spare, you know – chef’s perks. (Oh, you mean that’s not an excuse to make more to keep you going until dinner’s ready?) There’s something about the salty/sweet/smokey combo that makes them very hard to share. Yum.
Having just ruined my chances of ever being invited to another cocktail party I suppose I’d better share why I was willing to take such a risk by divulging my gluttonous ways. It’s all the goodness of devils on horseback (plus goat’s cheese) that you can whip up and devour all on your own, no sharing required. And since I’ve been guiltily cooking up canapés for one it’s just as well they’re served on a big plate of bitter leaves like raddichio and frisée lettuce and fiery sweet honey-mustard dressing. The hot devils melt the morsels of goat’s cheese and their smokey bacon tastes wonderful alongside peppery radishes and earthy beetroot so that every mouthful is a pleasure to eat. There’s also a great mix of textures: crispy bacon, chewy prunes, soft, melty cheese and crunchy radishes. If you’re going to have salad for lunch, make sure it’s this one!
Devils on horseback salad
Makes enough for one serving. The dressing serves more but can be stored in the fridge for a few days.
- 6 prunes
- 2-3 rashers of streaky bacon (smoked)
- A big handful of mixed salad leaves
- 50g goat’s cheese
- A few radishes, sliced
- A small, cooked beetroot, sliced
- A scattering of toasted almonds
For the honey and mustard dressing:
(From BBC Good Food)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 6 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bacon into 6 small bits, enough to go around a prune with a small overlap.
Wrap each prune in bacon and secure with a cocktail stick. Cook under a hot grill for about 10 minutes, turning a few times until the bacon is crisp and golden.
Arrange the leaves, radish, beetroot and cheese on a plate. Make the dressing by shaking all the ingredients together in a jam jar.
Pour a little dressing over the salad then top with the hot devils on horseback and toasted almonds. Serve immediately with a chunk of nice bread.