The heart of a good salad is the quality ingredients and a really flavorful vinaigrette.

Here the quality ingredients came from Santa Monica farmers market. Feel free to use as much as you like in your salad or add different leaves, vegetables and also, in the vinaigrette, adjust it according to your taste, create your own with the given ingredients. You can not go wrong!

The only thing I would suggest definitely use some kind of spinach with this warm vinaigrette.

Before getting into the instruction let me show you these beautiful blossoms I used for plating. This is the flower of arugula. In spring, early summer it is widely available at farmers markets. You can buy a bunch, keep it in a vase and use the flowers for plating and even pick those young, crunchy peppery leaves. The flowers taste exactly the same as the young arugula leaves. It will definitely add a beautiful touch to your salad, especially if you are making it for brunch with friends! 😉

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Ingredients and instruction

The salad ingredients are bloomsdale spinach, shaved asparagus, watercress, sliced green onion, toasted rye bread croutons, crispy bacon and poached egg. You can add any other leafy greens, or shaved green, raw vegetables. Cut thick bacon into lardons, render the fat and use the fat for both the vinaigrette and toasting the bread if you have enough left.

The warm vinaigrette is made with chopped shallots sautéed in warm bacon fat, deglazing with sherry vinegar and adding maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.

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How to make a good vinaigrette?

  • fat and acid components have to be mixed vigorously
  • season well
  • always taste
  • use both spices and chopped herbs or onion

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Traditionally the ratio for a stable vinaigrette is 3 parts fat to 1 part acidic liquid. For immediate use you can easily make a good vinaigrette with different amount. Make sure you have more fat than acid, and season generously.

As for practicality and ease of mixing, I have a small jar and I always mix my vinaigrette in that. After securing the lid, shaking it really well, it is the easiest way to get the vinaigrette into the right texture, which is silky, thickened, emulsified. And if you have leftover vinaigrette you can leave in in the jar and store it in your fridge for a couple of days and there is no more dirty bowl and whisk to clean.

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How to poach an egg?

Believe it or not making a good poached egg is not really about how skilled you are. It is all about your ingredient and technique. Remember, and don’t panic, there is ALWAYS some egg white coming off and swimming away in the water. That is totally normal, it is just how an egg is, the thinner part of the albumen (egg white) will not stick to your poached egg.

Check out this page if you want to know more about the structure of the egg

https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/eggs/eggcomposition.html

Follow these steps and you will have the perfect poached egg every time.

  • use the freshest eggs possible
  • if you don’t know how fresh your egg is, add 1t vinegar in the water
  • have your eggs at room temperature
  • use a big, shallower pot
  • water should be simmering, not boiling (180-190F)
  • crack your eggs in a cup and gently tip the egg out of the cup and let it slide down the side of the pot, into the water

Hope this all helps and enjoy this amazing salad!