Mesclun Herb Salad, Poached Egg, Lardons

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This a slightly more varied version of a classic Mesclun (green leaf salad). You can of course leave out the crispy lardons to make it healthier but they help take this simple green classic up to the next level. It’s the perfect weeknight supper and you can add different herbs depending on what you have.

Preparation time: 12 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

400g/14oz lardons

4 fresh medium free-range eggs at room temperature

4 tsp white wine vinegar

140g/5oz lambs lettuce

1 round lettuce

1 endive

handful chopped mint

handful chopped parsley

handful of dill

For the dressing

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp honey

juice of half a lemon

sea salt and black pepper

Set a frying pan to a medium to high heat and when hot throw in the lardons.  When lardons have crisped up remove from heat and set them aside.

Tear round lettuce into a mixing bowl adding in the endive leaves, lambs lettuce and chopped herbs.  I like to tear the dill into nice sprigs by hand.

Mix all the dressing ingredients together leave to one side.

Now bring a large saucepan of water to a gentle boil and using four cups crack each egg into a cup.  Add the white wine vinegar to the pan and get a timer ready to count down 2.5 minutes.  The water should be controlled and gently bubbling.  Using a wooden spoon gently swirl the water round in a direction twice and then carefullyl begin adding in the eggs.  Once all the eggs are in start the timer and gently encourage the water to swirl round teasing the whites to fold round each yolk for 1 minute and then leave to poach.  Prepare a plate with kitchen towel and after 2.5-3 minutes the eggs should still feel soft and have formed into lovely white nests.  Use a frying spatula to carefully remove each one from the water and on to the kitchen paper.  At this moment quickly dressing the salad and add half the lardons and check for seasoning.  Plate up with a generous mound of salad on each plate, a poached egg on top with a sprinkle of lardons.  A last grind of pepper and you’re done!

Nina ParkerComment