This morning is the opening of our local Farmer’s Market. It runs from June to October. I just love buying fresh, local produce!
This morning, I was able to pick up farm-fresh eggs AND there was a photo of the chickens with the farmer. They were a happy, contented bunch of chickens, so their eggs would be wonderful!
I also found some fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions and huge heads of Boston lettuce.
I think lunch is going to be a wonderful salad!
Here’s one of my favorite Vinaigrettes:
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
Pinch granulated sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine the shallots, sugar and 1 tablespoon of vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking vigorously and continuously, until the vinaigrette is creamy and emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside until needed.
To taste? What does that mean? Here some hints to help when tasting and adjusting the seasonings.
If the vinaigrette is too bland, add salt or pepper. You can also add a bit of acid, such as a vinegar.
If the vinaigrette is too oily, add a bit more vinegar.
If the vinaigrette is too acid (or too “sharp” tasting), add a bit more oil or sugar.
Looking over my fresh finds, I might make a classic French Salad; Frisée Salad with Poached Egg
Yield: 4 Servings
- 3½ inch-thick slices French or Italian bread
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch sticks
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon white or white wine vinegar
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heads frisée (can substitute Boston, if desired)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Remove the crust from bread slices, and cut them into 1-inch squares. Toss the squares with the olive oil sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; place squares on a sided baking sheet. Toast, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes, to make croutons.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Lift the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat and keep it warm.
In a small bowl, combine the mustard, shallot, garlic, thyme, and red wine vinegar.
Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the white vinegar and lower the heat to a steady simmer. Break each egg into a small cup or ramekin. Fill a medium bowl with warm water and position it near the pot. Gently slide each egg into the saucepan of simmering water by bringing the small cup close to the water’s surface and letting the egg slide out. Adjust the heat to just under a boil. Cook the eggs until the whites are cooked and the yolks are just set, about 4 minutes. Lift the eggs out of the cooking water with a slotted spoon and place them in the bowl of warm water. The eggs will stay warm in this water for a few minutes but will not overcook.
Whisk the extra virgin olive oil and about 2 Tablespoons of the warm bacon fat into the shallot-vinegar mixture until the fat is incorporated and an emulsion forms.
Remove the outer leaves and tough core of the lettuce. Separate and wash the remaining leaves, making sure to dry them well. Put the frisée and the croutons in a large bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to coat lightly. (You should have at least 2 Tablespoons of vinaigrette left over.)
To Assemble and Serve:
Divide the frisée and the croutons among four plates. Lift the eggs out of the warm water with a slotted spoon, let them drain briefly, and trim off any scraggly ends. Put an egg on top of the greens on each plate and sprinkle each salad with some bacon pieces and the parsley. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each salad and serve immediately.