Warmed Greens with Poached Egg
On a dreary Winter day there is nothing like a hearty brunch to warm the soul. But you don’t always have to make something sweet or heavy. In fact, sometimes I like a good salad for brunch. This salad is so good though I’ll eat it anytime I get the chance.
I actually created a new category on Macheesmo because of this dish: TIWSIMRIIHAR. Things I would serve in my restaurant if I had a restaurant.
There are two parts to this salad that really set it over the top. First, the warmed dressing. It’s just a standard vinaigrette but by cooking it in the same pan as the mushrooms and bacon it picks up lots of flavor and also slightly wilts the greens.
Second, the poached egg. If you’ve never had a salad with a poached egg you are missing out. A lot of people like hard boiled eggs in salad, but I think poached is even a better option. You can poach it hard if you want, but I like mine really runny so it mixes with the dressing and makes for a delicious egg, dressing, bacon soup.
1) Slice up bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and fry it up super-crispy. Basically, you want bacon bits.
2) Set your bacon aside and let it cool. Roughly tear up escarole and watercress.
3) Chop up those shrooms if you are using them. Sautee in 2 tablespoons of leftover bacon grease over medium heat until they are wilted.
4) Heat a medium pot full of water and bring it to a simmer. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup vinegar for poaching.
5) Next take your balsamic, honey, and mustard and whisk them into the same pan you cooked your mushrooms and bacon in. Then slowly whisk in your olive oil.
6) Poach your eggs in slightly simmering water by slowly lowering them into the water. Let them simmer for 2 minutes 30 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon. Let the eggs drain briefly on a paper towel.
7) While your egg poaches split the greens, bacon, and mushrooms between however many plates you are serving. Pour your warmed dressing over and then transfer your egg right from the pot to the plate.
First thing first, cut up that bacon and fry it up super-crispy. Basically, you want bacon bits.
Set your bacon aside and let it cool. I prepped my greens next to get those out of the way. I roughly tore up my escarole and added my watercress.
Next chop up those shrooms if you are using them. I like to cook mine in the bacon grease that is left over. You maybe need 2 Tablespoons of grease so pour off any extra. You don’t want them too greasy.
Now everything moves pretty quickly. This is the order I did things in. The goal is to pour your warmed dressing over the salad and then immediately top it with a freshly poached egg.
I start by getting a medium saucepan of water going. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup vinegar. This is the key to a poached egg. The acid makes the proteins in the egg stick together. You don’t need any egg poaching contraption. All you need is a pot of water and a touch of vinegar. You could use lemon juice also.
Next take your balsamic, honey, and mustard and whisk them into the same pan you cooked your mushrooms and bacon in. Then slowly whisk in your olive oil. It should combine beautifully. Be sure to scrape up any bacon bits or mushroom bits stuck to the pan. FLAVOR.
This can just bubble away on very low heat for a few minutes.
Now your poaching water should be boiling. Here are the surefire tricks to making a perfect poached egg:
1) You don’t want a rolling boil. You want your water simmering, but not boiling.
2) Crack your egg into a measuring cup or small bowl. Don’t crack it right into the water or you might end up with shells.
3) Give your water a quick stir to create a small whirlpool. This will help your egg stick together.
4) Slowly roll your egg out of the cup or bowl and into the water.
After 2 minutes. Yes. Just two minutes. You will have a perfectly poached egg. If you want it poached medium then go for 3-4 minutes. If you want it rock hard then cook it for a day or whatever.
Use a slotted spoon (I don’t have one. So sue me) to remove your egg gently from the water. Get a paper towel to dab off extra water.
While your egg poaches split the greens, bacon, and mushrooms between however many plates you are serving. Pour your warmed dressing over and then transfer your egg right from the pot to the plate.
Once you get good at poaching you can do two or three eggs at once. But start with just one at a time.
This salad is so delicious. I like to serve mine with some toasted bread to go along with the egg. Don’t let the poaching intimidate you. If you mess up an egg or two, no big deal. Eventually, you will get it right and then you can throw away all of those weird poaching tools that lead to pretty poor poached eggs in my opinion.
What do you think? Egg in a salad is good right?