This salad is named for my nephew Will – during a discussion on the virtues of a good salad we decided it needed to be suitable for any time of day, have a good dose of devilish chilli heat and a bit of grunt. Challenge accepted: here is the very satisfying result!
24 small vine tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
⅔ cup good quality egg mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon chilli oil
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
2 tablespoons white vinegar
18 young asparagus, trimmed, halved and tossed with 1 tablespoon olive oil
12–24 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread, sliced
6 chorizo sausages, sliced on the diagonal
6 baby cos lettuces or 1 large iceberg lettuce, washed and torn into wedges
3 avocados, sliced into wedges
1 cup fresh coriander or parsley leaves
2 red chillis, sliced thinly
on the diagonal
3 limes, halved
Preheat oven to 150°C.
Tomatoes: Place tomatoes cut side up in a small roasting dish lined with baking paper. Whisk oil, vinegar, sugar and chilli together and pour over tomatoes. Season and bake for 70 minutes, until soft. They can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the fridge. Take them out half an hour before serving.
Dressing: Whisk all the ingredients in a jug. Season to taste.
Salad: Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add the vinegar to the water and poach the eggs for 3–4 minutes. Drain well on paper towels.
Heat a grill pan or barbecue plate. Grill the asparagus for a minute or two each side until they can just be pierced with a knife. Set aside. Toast the ciabatta slices on the grill until golden.
Heat a sauté pan and cook the chorizo for five minutes over a medium heat.
To assemble: Layer the cos, avocado, tomatoes, asparagus, parsley or coriander and chilli on a serving platter or divide between individual plates, reserving some chilli and coriander for garnish.
Place the cooked chorizo on top of the salad greens with the asparagus and poached eggs.
Drizzle over dressing and grind over extra salt and pepper. (Drizzle with a bit more chilli oil if you like it hot!) Serve the limes on the side for guests to squeeze over. Serve the warm ciabatta separately.