Irish Fry Breakfast Salad

by Kristin on August 4, 2012

It took me a long time to accept the sad fact that Ireland doesn’t have a culture of big breakfasts if you’re eating out. No waffles, no corned beef hash, no farmers’ breakfast skillets, no buttered rye toast, no bottomless cups of coffee in chunky diner mugs. What we do have, though, is the fry.

In her book Irish Traditional Cooking, Darina Allen says the fry was a tradition after Mass on Sundays, though these days you’ll find it on the menu in every B&B and hotel and you have to have it at least once if you’re visiting. Made up of baked beans, bacon, black and white pudding, sausages and eggs as well as grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and a slice or two of brown or soda bread or potato farls, a traditional full Irish breakfast packs a lot of protein onto one plate.

Here, it gets a modern makeover as a salad — though with all the same ingredients, it’s no less filling than the traditional version. It might not be as homey as a short stack of pancakes dripping with maple syrup or as elegant as eggs Benedict, but one thing you can say about an Irish fry is that it certainly sets you up for the day.

Irish Fry Breakfast Salad
adapted from The Surf Cafe Cookbook by Jane and Myles Lamberth (via Image Interiors & Living magazine)

Serves 2 generously

This recipe comes from the new Surf Café Cookbook by Jane and Myles Lamberth, owners of the super cute Shells Café in Strandhill, County Sligo, with views out to the sea. The potato farl croutons are my own addition. If you can’t get potato farls, try using soda bread, and if the art of the poached egg eludes you, top the salad with a fried egg or even a plain boiled egg instead.

for the salad:
olive oil or rapeseed oil
6 slices of black pudding
4 rashers, cut into lardons
2 eggs, poached
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
mixed baby lettuce leaves

for the potato farl croutons:
knob of butter
2 potato farls, cut into small cubes
2 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the dressing:
5 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat some olive or rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the slices of black pudding and bacon (if space allows in the pan, otherwise fry them separately) and fry until cooked through and crispy. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease, then cut up or crumble the black pudding into large chunks. Set aside.

To make the potato farl croutons, drain off any excess grease from the pan you cooked the bacon and pudding in. Add in a knob of butter over a medium heat. When it starts to sizzle, add in the cubed potato farls and sprinkle over the parsley and some salt and pepper, stirring to coat the farls with the butter, herbs and seasoning. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re browned and crispy.

Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard and some salt and pepper in a jug or shake to combine in a screw-top jar. Poach 2 eggs in whatever way works best for you.

Place the cherry tomatoes and cannellini beans in a bowl and add in the black pudding and bacon. Pour over half of the dressing and toss to combine. In a separate large bowl, toss the lettuce leaves with the remaining dressing. Add in the cherry tomatoes, beans, black pudding and bacon, tossing well.

Divide the salad between 2 plates and scatter the potato farl croutons over, then top each salad with a poached egg. Serve with mugs of strong tea or coffee, though a bracing glass of grapefruit juice is also especially good.

For a bit of fun, check out Vicky’s take on the full Irish breakfast - as dessert!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Tabitha August 5, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Oh homemade soda bread, toasted with butter is my delicious breakfast just now.


Kristin August 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

That is one of my favourite breakfasts. It’s hard to beat a nice piece of toasted soda bread.


Lori August 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Saw your photo on IG and I couldn’t wait to check this out. It sounds delicious! Beautiful photo as well.


Kristin August 6, 2012 at 11:36 am

Thanks for popping over to the blog from IG!


Katie August 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm



Kristin August 6, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks Katie! Just looking at your blog has reminded me that I have a sock that I’ve been meaning to finish knitting. :)


Caroline@Bibliocook August 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I just wish more B&Bs included beans in their fry up! Love your salad take on breakfast.


Kristin August 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm

The first breakfast fry I ever had was cooked by Matt’s Irish uncle and he included beans, which I’d never, ever had for breakfast before. I thought it was odd at first but am a convert now!


Kris - london Caterer August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

This is surely a different type Irish breakfast I haven’t seen before and it surely sounds tasty and healthy. And with that said, no Irish meal is complete without a salad….


Rachael September 13, 2012 at 6:58 am

Girl tell me about it. Now if you can get them to adopt some biscuits and gravy I’d call that a near perfect culinary colonization.


Kristin September 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I’d be happy with waffles!


Stasty September 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

As a reformed carnivore I am now on the hunt for nice new meaty dishes. I remembered seeing the photo of your Irish Fry breakfast and thinking … mmm that would be lovely if I ate meat. So, it is only now that I am back here, actually reading the recipe. I giggled so hard when I saw the link back to my site! Thank you so much, that’s very sweet. I am definitely going to try out this amazing sounding salad. I figure it’s a nice gentle way to re-introduce me back to meat :)


Kristin September 19, 2012 at 10:02 am

I have to warn you – what with the beans, bacon, pudding and egg, it’s a bit of a protein bomb! I hope you enjoy it if you make it. And then maybe you can have your sweet fry for dessert. :)


canada goose baby bunting September 24, 2014 at 4:52 am
ugg kids classic September 28, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: