BLT and Poached Egg Salad
The classic French salad of frisée, chewy unsmoked bacon and a runny poached egg has been made kid-friendly here with sweet cherry tomatoes and butter lettuce. Don’t cook the bacon too long; you want it to be a bit chewy rather than crunchy. To incorporate the bread element of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, top the salad with croutons.
- 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. minced shallot
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes or 3 large tomatoes, chopped
- 3 Tbs. fresh basil leaves, torn
- 4 cups torn butter lettuce leaves
- 4 to 6 eggs
To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the mustard, shallot, sugar, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, a few grindings of pepper and 2 Tbs. of the vinegar. Let the mixture sit 10 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil.
Warm a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp on the edges but still chewy at the center, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
Half fill a wide sauté pan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. vinegar and 2 tsp. salt. Layer 3 paper towels on a plate.
Keep the water at a simmer while you toss the salad. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, lettuce and bacon. Drizzle 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette over the top, toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Add more vinaigrette, to taste. Divide the salad among individual plates.
Working quickly, one at a time, crack the eggs into a small bowl, then slide them into the simmering water. Raise the heat briefly to return the water to a simmer but do not allow it to boil. Poach the eggs until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. One at a time, lift the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, blot on the paper towels and then carefully place on the salads. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and serve the salads immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).