Everything about this salad is good. The vinaigrette is simple to make and extremely satisfying to me, a reformed cream-based dressings only kind of person. I’m from Portales, NM – we like ranch dressing more than we should. Any time Matt would order a vinaigrette at a restaurant, I would scoff as if he were simply trying to make a point that I should choose a healthier option because how could he really prefer a vinaigrette? Well, I think you could easily prefer this one. This salad has enough richness from the bacon (just one strip per person) and the poached egg that when it’s all combined, everything balances out perfectly. This recipe is again, from the genius and simple, Bonne Femme Cookbook. I think I’m unintentionally cooking my way through this book. I made a diversion last week and cooked out of the Everyday Food magazine and while all the recipes were good, once I started this week cooking out of Bonne Femme again, I think Matt and I were both secretly relieved. I can’t quite put my finger on why all the recipes work so well – I haven’t screwed up one, yet, and I’ve made nearly a dozen different recipes! Maybe the mystery is that the French like everything to have a sauce? It certainly creates a warmth for every meal that would be lacking otherwise. And even with all these sauces, I’m still losing weight (down two more last week) Woohoo!
So here’s to a salad with a sauce all its own when the yolk combines with the vinaigrette. I made it a bit heartier by roasting some asparagus to have along side. Asparagus and runny egg yolks are best friends, by the way.
Scared to poach an egg? Well, you can buy one of those insert things that you put into a pot on your stove, or what I did was bring a medium saucepan to an active simmer (not boiling – I left my burner on medium heat), crack your egg into a small bowl first and then get your water swirling in a tornado fashion and then dump your egg into the middle of the swirling water. It will look like a walleyed mess at first, but after 3-4 minutes, you can check the egg with a slotted spoon and if your whites are done and your yolk still feels jiggly to the touch, then it’s good to go. The recipe suggests putting two tablespoons of white wine vinegar into your water to keep the whites from scattering so much. I forgot to do this, but am anxious to try again, soon.
Poached Egg Salad with Bacon and Sherry-Dijon Vinaigrette
4 slices thick cut bacon, but into 1-inch pieces
3 cups torn mixed greens
1/2 cup sliced red onion
4 large eggs
1 recipe Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove from the skillet and drain on paper towels.
Toss the greens and red onion in a medium sized salad bowl.
Poach your eggs to desired done-ness, adding 2 tbs of vinegar to the water before adding the eggs. Here’s another tutorial on how to poach an egg.
When the eggs are almost done, toss the bacon in the bowl with the greens and add enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves well – you may not need the whole recipe and less is more – an over dressed salad gets soggy and gross really quick.
Arrange the salad among four serving plates and top each with a poached egg. Season the egg with salt and pepper and serve immediately. If you want to serve it with the asparagus, I’ve got the recipe for you below.
In a small bowl, combine 1 clove of minced garlic with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mash them together with the back of a spoon to make a rough paste. Add 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar; whisk with a fork until the salt is dissolved. Whisk in 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Slowly add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, whisking until incorporated.
Simple Roasted Asparagus
Wash and trim your asparagus. Coat all the stalks in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 400F oven for 15 minutes. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over and serve!