Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Deconstructed Eggs Benedict Salad

I had a great dish recently in San Francisco. Two perfectly poached eggs on a raft of polenta, accompanied by a field green salad with asparagus and fava beans and a vinaigrette. The creamy, rich egg yolk and grainy polenta were a perfect foil for the bitter greens and sharp vinaigrette. The fresh fava beans and skinny, spring asparagus spears added just enough texture and flavor variety to complete it. I enjoyed it so much I was sorry I was sharing it with my friend LeAnn. I was tempted to point at a passing sailboat (we were in Sausalito at Cibo) but hung resolutely to the agreement to eat only half. It got me thinking about eggs which led me to think of my favorite egg dish, Eggs Benedict. Next thing I knew I was creating a supper salad of Deconstructed Eggs Benedict. The lemony hollandaise is now a tart lemon vinaigrette with a poached egg on top. The english muffin is now an English muffin French Toast crouton and salty pancetta replaces the canadian bacon. Make sure you make enough. You won't want to share.

Deconstructed Eggs Benedict Supper Salad

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of Tabasco

½ pound Pancetta

8 eggs for poaching

2 eggs for English muffin croutons
1 T. Dijon mustard
½ cup milk

4 english muffins, split

8 cups spring lettuce mix

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and a dash of Tabasco in a small bowl and set aside. Rinse and spin dry the lettuce. Put it in the fridge covered with a damp paper towel so it stays nice and crisp.
Dice the pancetta and cook until crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Poach the 8 eggs in boiling water until desired doneness. Place them immediately into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Leave them there for now. You can do this a couple of hours ahead of time if you need to. Keep the egg water warm on low heat if you are eating right away. You can use it to re-warm the eggs when you are ready to serve..

Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium high heat. In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 eggs, mustard and milk. Dip the English muffin halves into the eggs and milk, like you were making French toast, coating both sides and place in the hot skillet drizzled with olive oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other three English muffins. Remove from pan and cube.

Place the poached eggs back in the hot water for a few minutes to re-warm the eggs. Put the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Taste and add more vinaigrette if you like. Divide the lettuce onto 4 large plates. Sprinkle with cubed pancetta and the english muffin cubes. Top with the warm poached eggs. Season with salt and freshly black pepper. Serve.

This recipe can be done in stages throughout the day. The pancetta can be made ahead and warmed for 10 seconds in the microwave. The vinaigrette can be made ahead and refrigerated. The eggs can be poached in advance.


1 comment:

  1. YUM! Can you believe I've never poached an egg at home although it's one of my favorite things ever? Gotta get on that! Great post :)