During silage, I usually make a big dinner each day, as well as “salad-y” bits for lunch.

The workers will come in once they’re done in the evening for a meal and even if they can’t all come in together for lunch, there is always food laid out on the table.

That way, if someone has a few minutes, they can pop in for a quick plate of salads and a cup of tea.

One of my tried-and-tested silage recipes is my creamy bacon pasta salad. In it, crispy bacon combines with al dente pasta, fresh, chunky vegetables and a garlic lemon dressing. It’s addictive. In fact, I don’t just save it for silage – it’s also my go-to recipe for family barbecues or potlucks in the summer months.

The flavours scream summer, and the salad is a great side dish for grilled chicken, steak or burgers and sausages. It’s also great on a summer salad plate, with tomatoes, coleslaw, potato salad, ham, chutney and brown bread.

Creamy bacon pasta salad

Serves 8-12

Janine's creamy bacon pasta salad.

500g dried pasta (I like macaroni, fusilli or a rigatoni here), cooked al dente (8-10 minutes) and cooled

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 cucumber, seeded and roughly chopped

300g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, diced

1 red pepper, seeded and diced

250g bacon or bacon lardons, cooked until crisp and drained on kitchen towel

200g feta, crumbled

Juice and rind from one lemon

1 large clove garlic, crushed or finely grated

200g mayonnaise

2 tsp dried oregano

200g sour cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Spring onions, thinly sliced (to garnish)

  • 1 Cook the pasta, then drain and spread out on a lined baking sheet to cool. Drizzle the pasta with the rapeseed oil so it doesn’t stick together.
  • 2 Cook the bacon until crispy and drain on kitchen towel, then roughly chop. Set aside.
  • 3 Seed and chop the cucumber, dice the red onion and halve the cherry tomatoes. Add to a large bowl. Add the crumbled feta and cooled bacon.
  • 4 When the pasta is completely cool, add to the vegetables, cheese and bacon. Mix to combine.
  • 5 In another bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, oregano and lemon rind and juice. Mix well and generously season with salt and pepper.
  • 6 Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss together until everything is coated. Chill until ready to serve.
  • *Once chilled, I always check for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper before serving, if necessary, as the flavour can change after it’s been in the fridge for awhile.