poached egg with balsamic dressed greens

get off my lawn! ::::

I was appalled and furious. Again??  I thought. Why my lettuce?

First, it was the snails, slimily chomping up my leafy Rossi and Bibb. I set up snail guards. Then it was the squirrels. And birds! Then the light green wiggly caterpillars. They all were out to get the lettuce! I’ve taken to salting the snails I see. I first did this a month ago, salting them one morning, watching them cower and bubble, their now empty, bleached shells skirting the base of the tomato pots.

I made the unwise choice to plant a couple of lettuce plants on the ground, without protection.  They were eaten down to the nubs within a couple of days after planting, the perpetrators many. I gathered myself — with a garden citadel of sorts. The plants are the now well guarded with bird netting and copper tape to deter snails.  The lettuce plants have so overrun their pots now that I often eat a large salad for breakfast.

And so enter the egg. A yolky poached egg atop a balsamic vinegar dressed salad is a welcome change to the typical bowl of cereal, stack of pancakes soaked in maple syrup, or stand-by oatmeal. Change up the time of day you enjoy this meal: this is a chameleon, welcome at lunch and dinner too.

poached egg with balsamic dressed greens
Recipe type: salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • a bunch of fresh greens (I used Rossi and Bibb lettuce from the garden)
  • ¼ c olive oil*
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • splash apple or orange juice
  • squeeze of honey
  • squirt of mustard
  • pinch of salt and pepper each
  • Parmesan (maybe, maybe not)
  1. Crack egg(s) each into small bowl, without breaking yolk(s). Into each bowl, add ½ cup white vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bowl a medium-sized pot of water. When boiling, stir with spoon so water forms a vortex.
  3. Carefully pour one bowl of egg into the vortex. Swirl water with spoon at edges of pot until it returns to boil. The egg white should be tight against the yolk.
  4. When water is boiling again, reduce heat to medium and simmer egg for 2 minutes, still swirling water.
  5. Repeat with remaining egg. (If poaching more than 2 eggs, repeat using fresh water.) Season with salt and pepper.
  6. DO AHEAD instructions from original recipe: Can be made 1 day ahead. Immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Cover; chill. Rewarm in a saucepan of simmering water for 1 minute.
  7. Mix oil, balsamic vinegar, juice, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper in jar. Shake to emulsify.
  8. Place greens in bowl, gently toss with dressing. Transfer to clean plate and top with poached egg. A sprinkle of Parmesan is not unheard of in my kitchen.
* The ingredients for the balsamic dressing are a guide. I tend to like my dressings more sweet than vinegary, so adjust ingredient amounts to your liking.

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