Soft-boiled bantam egg salad

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Bantam eggs are about two-thirds of the size of a hen's egg and they make a great little summery salad or tea-time snack (some branches of Waitrose sell free-range Tremayne Farm bantam eggs, £1.69 for four). I've given you a home-made celery salt recipe before, but here it is again, just for good measure.

4 or 8 bantam eggs
A handful of small salad leaves
A couple of tablespoons or so of good quality or homemade mayonnaise

For the celery salt

The leaves from one large head of leafy celery
150-200g flaky rock salt like Cornish sea salt

To make the celery salt, set your oven to its lowest temperature. With some modern ovens you can get away with using just the fan; the warming oven of an Aga is also ideal for this. Scatter the celery leaves on to 1 or 2 baking trays and leave in the oven overnight until the pieces are dry and crisp, without letting them go brown. Depending on how watery the celery is, you may have to allow even longer. Once dry enough, put them into a food processor with the sea salt flakes and blend to a coarse powder-like consistency, or as coarse or finely as you wish. Store in airtight containers.

Bring a pan of water to the boil and carefully lower in the bantam eggs with a slotted spoon. Cook for 4 minutes and then run under the cold tap.

To serve, either peel the eggs, or you can half peel them; sit them on the salad leaves, serve the celery salt scattered on the eggs and/or extra on the side with the mayonnaise.

Mark Hix is launching Chef's Table, a monthly cooking class at his new restaurant in Lyme Regis. Prices start at £120 per head, and Mark will cook up a four-course lunch with you. For further details see restaurantsetcltd.co.uk

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