It's Secret Recipe Club time again. Man, that month goes by fast!
As soon as I got my blog assignment (Kudos Kitchen by Renee) for March I started to look through all her recipes. Renee does crafts in addition to cooking and has some beautiful handmade items. After a quick spin through her blog I knew I wanted to make this Bacon, Egg and Asparagus Salad. Just the name made my mouth water. Unfortunately the post didn't include a recipe. One of my biggest pet peeves about the whole Dorie Greenspan blogging community is that those who participate aren't allowed to post the recipe on their blog. I love food porn (aka photos) as much as the next person but if a meal looks good I'd like to be able to make it at home, especially if the blogger made some changes to the original recipe. Thankfully Renee saw my comment on her post asking for the recipe and responded quickly so I was able to get this made before the SRC deadline. Renee, I'm sorry I wasn't able to explain why I was so anxious to get this recipe but now you know. :)
Like I said, I was in love with this salad just from Renee's photos. It combines some of my favorite things - asparagus, runny eggs, pine nuts and bacon - into a gorgeous salad with a tangy dressing. I ended up subbing white wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar because I already had some on hand. Besides the asparagus and mixed greens I didn't have to buy anything else - all the ingredients are things I keep on hand. A tip - if you belong to a wholesale club look for pine nuts in their baking aisle. They're so much cheaper than the grocery store and you can keep them in the freezer so they don't go rancid. This recipe used up the last of my pine nuts so it's a good thing we're headed to the wholesale club this weekend.
This would make a great first course at a dinner party because you can assemble the plates while the asparagus is roasting and then fry or poach some eggs and serve. I fried my eggs in bacon fat to stay true to the original recipe, but I don't think it added anything extra to the taste. Next time I'll poach the eggs to save some calories. Regardless of how you cook your eggs a runny yolk is key. It mixes with the dressing to create something luxurious. If you don't like runny eggs this isn't the salad for you.
The final bite:
I knew SP wouldn't be into this salad so I made it for lunch one day (one of the perks of working from home). I was very happy that it made enough for two salads so I could enjoy it again for lunch the next day.
I can't say enough good things about this salad. I may or may not have licked the plate clean to get up all that delicious dressing and egg yolk. What a winner. Thank you SO much, Renee. This was a great treat and surprisingly simple to make. It was the perfect light lunch and I can't wait to make it again soon.
Bacon and Eggs and Asparagus Salad
Slightly Modified from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
Makes 2 main course salads or 4 first course salads
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and coarsely-ground black pepper
4 large eggs
1 bunch asparagus spears, preferably thick, trimmed
6 strips bacon
3 handfuls mesclun or other mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
To make the vinaigrette: Put all the ingredients in a small jar, cover, and shake to blend; or use a small bowl and a whisk. Set aside, and shake (or whisk) again before using. (You can make the vinaigrette up to a week in advance and keep it in the fridge.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and arrange the asparagus on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until just cooked through, about 5 mintues.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, turning as needed, until the bacon is golden and crisp on both sides. Remove the strips and put them between a double thickness of paper towels; when the bacon is cool, cut it into narrow strips or chop it into bits. Leave 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the skillet. Rewarm the bacon fat over medium heat. Cook eggs over-easy, making sure the yolks are still runny.
Season the mesclun with salt and pepper, then toss it with about three quarters of the vinaigrette, and arrange in the center of the platter or your plates. Toss the asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette and lay the spears over the greens. Lift the eggs out of the skillet and place them on top of the asparagus. Scatter the bacon bits and toasted pine nuts over the salad and serve immediately.