Heather Redfern's Warm Summer Garden Salad with Poached Eggs
This takes 20 minutes to make including picking the Greens. It is a wonderful light supper. Breaking the egg yolks over the salad makes it very rich and decadent. Add some beautiful bread and share with someone you like to be with!
1/4 cup of white vinegar
4 slices of Bacon (I buy good quality bacon and get it wrapped into 4 slice packages, then freeze them. It is easier to slice frozen bacon and that way I take exactly the amount I need.)
1/4 cup water
1 small sweet onion or shallot, diced
4 cups total of a variety of greens and fresh herbs, loosely packed. These can be purchased or picked. (Right now in my container garden I am picking spinach, chard, mint, Italian parsley, garlic chives and basil tops.)
fleur de sel and black pepper, to taste
1 cup of full-flavoured cheese, grated (Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or an aged Gouda)
Put a large pot of water, at least 4 inches deep, on to boil. Add enough kosher salt so that the water tastes like the sea. Add the vinegar.
While the water is coming to a boil heat a frying pan on medium heat. Cut the bacon into 1 inch pieces and add to the frying pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cook until most of the water has evaporated and the bacon fat has rendered.
Add the shallots or onion to the pan, cooking until the onion is soft. Then increase the heat to medium high, and crisp the bacon.
Pour the contents of the pan, including the bacon fat, over the greens and herbs. Grind in some pepper, sprinkle in some fleur de sel and toss; then add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss again.
By now the vinegar water should be close to boiling. Break the eggs into small cups, swirl the water, and gently ease the eggs into the boiling water. Cook the eggs for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Divide the tossed greens into 2 bowls and sprinkle with the leftover 1/2 cup of cheese. Set 2 poached eggs on top of each salad. Grind pepper and add a sprinkle of fleur de sel to the eggs. Enjoy!
Heather Redfern is the Executive Director of The Cultch.