Sunday, May 6, 2007

Asparagus, Bacon & Poached Egg Salad

This salad was part of our May Day brunch, which was luckily very small - this was the only dish to be prepared on the spot. As a light lunch, it works marvelously on its own (although I'd accompany it with either croutons or garlic-and-oil-rubbed toast) and you certainly don't want to be fussing about trying to prepare other things while frying the asparagus and poaching the eggs.

Asparagus, Bacon & Poached Egg Salad

Maybe it's just that my poaching skills still leave something to be desired, though - it always feels like such a stressful procedure. In the end I wound up taking pictures before drizzling on the dressing, so if you could imagine this whole shebang with flecks of herb-oily goodness I would be most obliged.

Asparagus, Bacon & Poached Egg Salad

Asparagus, Bacon & Poached Egg Salad
based on this recipe at Finfood, serves 4

500 g (1 lb) asparagus, trimmed
170 g (6 oz) bacon, cut into bite-size pieces
a few cups mixed greens
4 eggs
2 tbsp vinegar

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
a big bunch of basil, finely chopped
a big bunch of thyme, finely chopped
salt & pepper

Start off by mixing the ingredients for the dressing or you'll be in trouble later on (not that I'd ever, etc).

Fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels. Reserve some of the fat from the bacon and fry the asparagus in it until (barely) soft and slightly browned. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a simmer, and add the vinegar to it.

Mix together salad greens, bacon and asparagus, add most of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Divide onto plates.

Crack the eggs and pour into individual cups/glasses. Carefully slide the eggs into the water and let cook for about two minutes (the yolks will still be fairly runny), then remove eggs with a slotted spoon (making sure they're properly drained) and place on top of salads. Drizzle with the rest of the dressing.


joey said...

I love it when salads have a poached egg on them...yum! I've done something similar before, but on toast instead of on a salad...your sounds much more healthy! :)

Astrid said...

This looks good! I tried poaching eggs for the first time a few days ago. Even though I relied on this recipe, which seems very authoritative and well illustrated, and even though I made sure my water was not hotter than 68°C, the egg whites promptly fled the scene, and I ended up serving poached egg yolks. Which were good, but not my intention. I wonder what the secret is. Yours in any case look a lot better than mine.

wryvita said...

When I poach eggs, I never use vinegar as it affects the texture of the whites. The key to good poached eggs is using the freshest eggs possible and following Delia Smith's method of using an inch of water, bringing the water to simmering point dropping the egg in and turning the heat off after 60 seconds. In contrast to Delia I then put the lid back on for 2 minutes or so and take the egg out when I can see it's done.
Lovely recipe and beautiful photographs by the by...

Anonymous said...

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Mary said...

I love poached egg on anything, it's one of my favorite things to eat, but like you I'm always stressed out by poaching them myself. I luckily have a brother who worked as a short order cook in a restaurant, so when he's around I always have him do the eggs while I concentrate on the other part of the meal.

deinin said...

Joey, well there was rather a lot of bacon in it... And now you have me hankering for toasts fried in leftover bacon fat. Ugh.

Astrid - wow, that is detailed. It seems a bit tricky to tip the yolk into the already-poured whites though! I just plonk them in as fast as I can.

Wryvita, that's funny - most of the instructions I've seen use vinegar because it affects the texture. But I'm definitely ready to try anything that seems less rather than more complicated...

anonyymi - *punastelee*

Mary - you are lucky. If I'm just cooking for myself, the poaching usually goes without mishaps, but when I have to do more than one it turns all stressful.

Kelly said...

It looks delicious! I love poached eggs, and learnt a 'cheats way' of poaching from a kitchen I worked in.

Create a little clingfilm bowl by spreading clingfilm over the top of a mug. Put a drop of olive oil in and then break the egg into it. Twist up the edges of the clingfilm together so that you have a little purse with the egg inside and drop that into the boiling water. It's easy to see when they are ready, and they come out looking really quite pretty.

The only issue is to be slightly careful of the clingfilm you use, as some of them don't react so well to boiling. Otherwise, the main trick is REALLY fresh eggs.

A perfect recipe for a spring day, I'm going to cook this up tonight!

deinin said...

Kelly, I hope you like it!

I'm getting so many interesting poaching tips, I foresee a veritable poached egg extravaganza in the very near future.

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