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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poached Eggs with Spinach Salad

Ever since I tasted my very first chicken egg, real chicken egg, you know the one that came from the extremely happy chicken that had been wandering around someone's yard eating bugs and leaves and all sorts of happy things, I have been in LOVE with eggs. The difference between the icky pale yolk of a store bought egg and the beautiful dark orange yolk of a really free range chicken is almost unbelievable.

Seriously, if you can, get yourself some happy chickens and keep them in your back yard - you won't regret it.

We have 20 chickens - well, we did have 20 chickens - we are going to be eating some of the roosters here real soon. The 10 that were old enough to lay have been rather stingy, we only were get 2 or 3 eggs a day. Yesterday we got 6!! Yahoo! I hope this keeps up. If I make eggs for breakfast we go through a dozen.

Today I decided to steal poach one of those eggs. You know in order to poach it -bwhaha I am funny. Get it? Poach an egg to poach? oh, NOT as funny as I thought, oh well.

Poached Egg with Spinach Salad
About 4 cups of baby spinach, rinsed and dried
8 bacon slices, cut into small pieces (1/2/" or so) (save 3 TBS of the grease when rendered)
3 TBS red wine vinegar
Either 1 tsp sugar or 1 TBS honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Sea Salt, Fresh - ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 eggs

Cook bacon in a small heavy pan (I use my iron skillet) over medium heat, until brown and rendered, but not crisp.  Remove from pan. Pour off fat and reserve.
To make the dressing, mix together: 3 TBS red wine vinegar, 1 tsp mustard, honey, salt, pepper, and the crushed garlic. Then whisk in the bacon fat. Taste to see if more salt is needed.
For the eggs, fill a heavy saucepan with 4 cups of water and add 1 1/2 TBS red wine vinegar. Heat to just below a simmer and slide in the 2 eggs (cracked) Poach for 3 1/2- 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove them. Keep warm. Put the vinaigrette into a large bowl (remove the crushed garlic) add the bacon. Put the bowl over the pan of hot water to warm. Add the spinach and toss well. Divide among 2 warm plates. Gently blot the eggs dry, and put one egg on top of each salad. Grind a little pepper over the top and serve immediately.
Look at the color and richness of that yolk!

I wilted my spinach a bit because spinach is better for you cooked. There is oxalic acid present in raw spinach and it blocks the absorption of calcium and iodine. Mildly cooking spinach neutralizes the malevolent acid.  Plus I just prefer spinach lightly cooked!

This is easily made for a quick dinner, and is easily doubled. (there is plenty of dressing)

You can use lots of other greens - endive is wonderful, escarole, dandelion greens or a radicchios.
It is also great topped with homemade croutons (garlic flavored) that have had a little of the bacon dressing poured over.
I think toasted walnuts would be great with this also.

I am linking this to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and  Tuesday Night Supper Club @ fudgeripple.


  1. I've never poached an egg. It seems scary to me (and complicated).

  2. Poached eggs are my favourite way to eat eggs. I just love all that runny yolk. I would love this, spinach and all, served over a toasted english muffin. Mmmmm.....

  3. oh Brenda, I bet an English muffin would be wonderful with this.

  4. I do not have chickens in my yard but I have friends and family who have them. So I am lucky enough to enjoy fresh eggs and I agree with you that the difference from the store-bought is great. I love your salad.

  5. For some reason I've been thinking about poached eggs recently. The only way I ever made them was a LONG time ago in that box thing I never use now. (microwave) Gonna have to just try doing that one weekend morning for some variety. Count me in on the camp who loves the runny eggs!

  6. Soli - my son just said this morning - there is never enough runny yolk for the amount of white you have to eat! LOL we are a yolk loving family!! I don't use my micro either - poaching the egg on the stove wasn't as scary as I thought! LOL

  7. Katerina -friends with chickens are almost better - you get the fruits of their labor ;o)

  8. poached eggs are a challenge to get right
    this looks lovely

  9. tigerfish - LOL I know! thanks!

    Torview - I must have gotten lucky for my first try in a long time!

  10. I agree, nothing compares to fresh chicken eggs! We eat something similar for breakfast - you will read all about it, when you get your copy of ThinkFood tomorrow of Friday!

  11. i had no idea cooked spinach is better for you than raw! i do love a fresh chicken egg..but sadly we aren't as lucky as you to have our own. i usually have to go begging to get any. thank you for linkin up to TNSC!

  12. This looks divine, Christy! I love poached eggs, spinach, and bacon =)

  13. I'm waiting for dinner to finish cooking, and this is making my stomach growl. How can you go wrong with poached eggs, spinach and bacon? Real eggs provide a nice creaminess. Good luck with the chickens. I hope you get another 6 egg day.

  14. City - no such luck but we did get 3 - hopefully they will start laying more. Keeping my fingers crossed!

  15. Don't you think that poached eggs make the perfect dressing for just about any food? Sigh. Gotta love 'em. And I'm with you, as soon as I tasted my first pastured egg, I was in love, and there was no going back. There are other things in my pantry that I will eat the conventional version if need be, but I will NEVER eat another store-bought egg. I'd rather go without.

  16. Poached eggs are hands down my favorite type of egg. This sounds soooo good, Christy...and I'm so jealous of even just a few eggs from your own hens :)

  17. I learned how to poach an egg in culinary school...I actually brought in a dozen of my own eggs and asked Chef to show me wasn't on our syllabus. I love them! And, gosh, with spinach - perfect! Thanks for linking to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!

  18. Poached eggs and spinach are two of my favorites. Together, I am thinking, they can't be beat.