Monday, December 21, 2015

Poached Egg Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Well, I can't believe that it's been almost 12 months since I last posted anything. This last year has been incredibly busy, including all kinds of chaos that comes with being a full-time student, part-time employee, and studying abroad in Australia for the past four months. Consequently, it's been a little difficult to keep up with any kind of consistent blogging. Not necessarily an adequate excuse, but there you have it.

One of the many things that I delightfully discovered while in the land down under was the common occurrence of poached eggs. I'd had them plenty of times in the States in eggs Benedict, but never in any other form or context. In Australia, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants everywhere offered poached eggs on toast with an array of trimmings available. Well, I fell in love with these little guys, and as soon as I arrived on United States soil, I tried my hand at making them.




At first, the result of my attempts was a bit ugly. But after lots of research and dedication, I figured out how to get them right. Now that I know I can make them without yolks and whites getting all over the pan, myself, or the floor,  I've been putting poached eggs in just about everything I can. 

One way that a lot of people consume poached eggs in Australia is in salads (this probably takes place in North America all the time too, but my former self was clearly ignorant of all things poached). 

The recipe I have for you today is a very simple salad with one of the easiest, most refreshing dressings you've ever had, and topped off with as many poached eggs as it will take to make your heart happy. I hope you enjoy it!


Ingredients:



Salad:
(I made this as a single serving, but you could easily increase the ingredients to serve a large family)

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup baby arugula
1 large carrot, chopped
2 poached eggs (make last)
soft goat cheese
dried herbs for garnish


Poached Eggs:
(Disclaimer- If you already have a working method of making these, stick with that. If you've never made poached eggs, or you've had trouble in the past, I've found that the following approach works well. However, I am by no means an expert at cooking poached eggs. You can also use poach pods, which work great).

Ingredients:

2 eggs
1-2 T distilled white vinegar

Directions:

Fill a saucepan with 3-4 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a very low simmer. If the water is barely simmering, there are fewer bubbles that will agitate the eggs. While the water is simmering, crack your eggs into small ramekins. When the water is ready, first place the egg in a fine mesh sieve, allowing any excess white to separate into another bowl. Then slowly lower the egg into the water and let it slide out of the sieve slowly (I've found that the trick is to let it sit for a second in the sieve under the water before sliding it out. This allows it to solidify a bit). Do this with the second egg and place a timer for 3 minutes. Watch the water carefully to make sure it doesn't begin to simmer too much. When the 3 minutes is up, use a slotted wooden spoon to gently scoop the eggs out of the water. Place on a paper towel and pat off excess water. 

After combining the carrot with the greens in a small bowl, place the eggs on top. Crumble a little goat cheese over the salad and garnish with dried herbs of your choice. Drizzle with your favorite fresh dressing or use the recipe below for my lemon basil dressing. 


Lemon Basil Dressing
(Makes about 2 cups)

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
4-6 anchovies
1 cup fresh basil, torn
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Smash garlic with a wide knife and ground together with salt in a pestle and mortar (If you don't have a pestle and mortar, you can use a food processor instead). Add anchovies and basil, pounding to a paste. Add olive oil and lemon juice intermittently. Season with pepper and add to your favorite salad. 




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