It’s curious to me why this is true, but we’re not big poached egg people here at the Circle B Kitchen. We’re more in the fried egg camp, but maybe not quite as entrenched there as we used to be.
I’ve come across a couple of recipes recently that call for a poached egg, and whereas in the past I would disregard that instruction and resort to my fall-back position which is to fry the egg, I’ve come to the realization that there are times when poaching might just be a better choice.
Softly simmering an egg seems to retain the egg’s innate lusciousness in a way that frying can’t quite do. And for dishes such as this lovely salad, you’re gonna want to poach yourself an egg. I like my eggs to cook long enough so that the yolk has started to thicken a bit (about 3 ½ minutes). Personally, I think that’s when they’re the most flavorful.
And when you place that perfectly poached egg on top of this scrumptious salad, you’ve got yourself something quite special, indeed. The salad recipe comes from Michael Ruhlman and his new book Twenty. I’ve had this book on my Amazon wish list for a while now and incredibly, it’s not shown up on my front porch. I just don’t get the whole wish list thing... it hasn’t worked at all well for me. Am I not wishing hard enough?? I think I’m going to have to give up and just buy the danged book. I heart Michael Ruhlman.
And I’m very fond of this salad. Michael used arugula in the original, but I used a combination of spinach and herby greens and threw in some asparagus too. Why not. Poached eggs and asparagus are best friends. Use any greens you like here, because once you get them all mixed up with the bacon and shallots and balsamic vinegar, it’s all good. Very, very good. Oh, and then that creamy, luscious egg on top adds an indescribable element of scrumptious to the whole thing.
Late night dinner? Check. Healthy, delicious lunch? Check. Quick weeknight dinner? Check. Anytime plate of goodness? Double check! Here’s the recipe…
Michael Ruhlman's Salad with Bacon and Poached Egg
Adapted from Michael Ruhlman's, Twenty
This salad was so incredibly delicious. I used a combination of spinach and baby greens, but any greens you like will work great in this. I also added lightly cooked asparagus and it was so wonderful with the poached egg. I used turkey bacon, which I cooked under the broiler, and I sautéed the shallots in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and then added the crumbled bacon to the pan and proceeded with the recipe as written. As I said, it really was so very yummy.
8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into lardons
2 large shallots, sliced
8 ounces arugula (or any greens of choice)
4 large eggs
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil for the eggs.
In a medium (10-inch) skillet over high heat, heat the bacon with 1/4 cup water. Once the water is evaporated, lower the heat to medium-low and continue cooking the bacon until it’s beginning to crisp.
Add the shallot to the bacon and cook until it’s wilted and translucent and the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes more.
Put the arugula in a salad bowl and spoon the bacon-shallot mixture over the greens (you may want to leave some fat behind, depending on how much there is in the pan and the quantity of greens). Toss together to evenly coat.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs into individual small bowls or ramekins. Lower the water to a simmer and carefully add the eggs one at a time. Cook gently until the white is completely set but the yolk is still runny, 3-4 minutes.
Sprinkle the arugula with the vinegar (start with less and add to taste). Season with salt and pepper and divide amongst plates or bowls. Top with poached eggs and serve immediately.