Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tweaks Needed: Warm Spicy Greens with Bacon and Eggs

Billed by Bittman as "the salad for meat-eaters," this was not one of my favorite dishes so far. Part of that could have been the greens I selected (mustard) or the fact that they were kind of on the wet side when I put the salad together (I don't have a salad spinner). It was a good start, I guess, something I'd like to try again in the future.


So, to make this recipe, you fry up a few strips of bacon, cut into small pieces (I'm sure pancetta and the like work well here, too). Then you add some onions or shallots, and let those soften, then deglaze the pan with a bit of red wine vinegar and mustard. This sauce makes the dressing for the salad. Place the greens in a warm bowl, toss with the bacon dressing, and then top each portion with a poached egg.

I thought this salad would make a great main course, and that's how I served it. Unfortunately, a series of circumstances made it a really just-okay salad. First of all, I'd never eaten raw mustard greens before; their name is no joke. It was like eating greens laced with wasabi. Some bites were mild enough, while others brought on hot tears. I could barely taste the bacon! Eating it, I thought that perhaps quickly blanching the greens might make them a bit milder, one possible tweak to make this recipe a bit more bearable.

Sidebar: Jacques Pepin makes a similar salad, with frisee instead of greens and the bacon on top instead of incorporated into the dressing. Looks really good. You can watch the episode of Pepin's show where he makes the salad here.

1 comment:

  1. I've never used mustard greens, instead I use spinach with poached egg and bacon. I like to make this a few times a year.

    Poached eggs are a favorite of mine. And you cannot go wrong with bacon of course.

    If no salad spinner, try drying the greens with a clean kitchen towel.