Poached Egg Salad
By Tom Flavin
Poached Free Range Egg, Spring Salad, Rigney’s Farm Bacon and Tomato Tarragon Vinaigrette
- 6 free range eggs
- 6 Rigney’s Farm, streaky rashers
- 200 gr Rocket Salad
- 200 gr red chard OR baby spinach
- 2 heads of curly endive salad leaves
- 1 small bunch of tarragon
- 36 spears of fresh asparagus (medium spears)
- 18 medium cherry tomatoes on the vine
- 1 medium shallot
- 120 g aged cheddar
- 100 ml olive oil
- 25 ml white wine vinegar
- Salt & pepper to taste
Pick, wash and dry the lettuce, (keep refrigerated so the lettuce stays crisp).
Lay the streaky rashers on a non stick tray or grease proof paper and coon in a medium oven 160 deg C until crispy.
Peel and finely chop the shallot and dissolve the salt in white wine vinegar, add the shallot and whisk in the olive oil. 1/4 the cherry tomatoes, chop the tarragon and add to the vinaigrette, adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper. Using a peeler, shave the aged cheddar into ribbons.
Now for the eggs, use a saucepan or a deep frying pan, which allows you to fill it with about 3 inches of water. The eggs should be covered with water during cooking and the 3 inch depth of water ensures that the eggs will not stick to the pan.
Poached eggs must be cooked in water that is very gently bubbling or simmering. The water is first brought to the boil and then by turning the heat down on the cooker, is allowed to gently simmer. Carefully add 6 eggs to the pan at this point. If the water is boiling too fiercely, the eggs will be forced to move around too much, causing them to break up and lose their shape. A gentle simmer allows the egg to sit in one place throughout cooking and cook nicely.
By using the freshest free range eggs possible, eggs that are less than four days old, you are more likely to achieve a perfectly poached egg that keep its shape. With a fresh egg, the white will stay close to the yolk and should not spread out thinly.
Vinegar can be added to the water as it begins to boil, this will help the egg white to coagulate more quickly and form a neat and compact shape. Use about 1 tablespoon of vinegar for each pint of water. Bear in mind that the vinegar may slightly flavour the eggs, so do not use too much or a vinegar that is too strong if you are not so keen on a vinegary tasting eggs.
Using a large bowl, toss the salad in enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce, arrange neatly in 6 bowls.
Place 1 poached egg on each salad, opped with crispy streaky bacon & arrange smoked cheddar shavings around.