Pascal and I regularly have salads for lunch but we never follow a recipe - Pascal makes the dressing with balsamic vinegar, olive oil & Dijon mustard and we just add whatever we have in the house….mainly cheese (obviously), lettuce, spring onions, garlic and some kind of sausage or chicken or bacon. Probably not very diet like but absolutely delicious!
Today I decided that we should have a change and so found this recipe for a "French bistro salad" - I am still big on eating eggs and I never think to add them to salads unless it's a nicoise so thought this sounded perfect.
Ingredients for 2 people:
200g smoked bacon lardons
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 tbsp olive oil
2-4 eggs (we used 3 - I had one and Pascal had two)
200g salad - whatever you prefer, I used a combination
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
3 spring onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
I made the dressing first and it was very simple. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the vinegar and mustard. Slowly add the oil, continuing to whisk until the mixture thickens. Season and set aside.
Then chop the garlic and spring onions.
Into a big salad bowl, add the lettuce, garlic and spring onion.
Dry fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan over a medium heat until crispy, this will take about 8-10 minutes.
Drain on kitchen paper and add to the salad.
Finally poach the eggs. Half fill a large pan with water and 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar, then bring to a gentle simmer. Break each egg into a ramekin, keeping the yolks intact. One at a time, pour the eggs into the simmering water and gently spin the water around each egg with a slotted spoon to allow the white to fold over itself. Cook until the whites are just firm and the yolks are runny (about 4-6 minutes). Finally remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
So this is where I went wrong - I have never poached an egg before and judging by my effort here you can tell!!
Not sure where I went wrong but I basically didn't allow the white to "fold over itself" and I over cooked the eggs and lost most of the white…doh! I should have just soft boiled them. Anyway I am determined to practise so better luck next time!!
Finally mix the dressing with salad, serve with the egg on top and sprinkle with chives.
Despite my disastrous egg, this salad was really good, I really liked the white wine vinegar in the dressing and I'm sure if my egg had been soft, the yolk would mix perfectly. I would probably add another 50g more of lardons and Pascal suggested cheese as well but for once I don't think it needs it.
This makes a perfect lunch, light supper or you could even make it as a starter for a dinner party….although I need to work on my eggs first!!