Warm Kale Salad with Crumbled Egg
Salads - the perennial diet food. Salads are often thought of as rabbit food, diet food, and boring tasteless greens forced upon us when we can’t eat what we really want. This salad is anything but boring!
What prompted us to one day consciously choose to pull weeds from the ground, place them in a bowl, and dress them up with simple ingredients? We can trace the origins of salad to the Romans. The Romans paired greens with simple oils and vinegars to create a fresh and healthy appetizer or entrée. European settlers to the New World brought their extensive knowledge of salads with them, and the dish gained popularity. In the 1920’s Caesar Cardini is said to have created the first ceasar salad - a simple salad tossed with a garlicky dressing of creamy egg yolks and vinegar, handmade croutons, and grated parmesan cheese. Assembled tableside, the ceasar salad elevated the humble salad to a gourmet appetizer.
Kale is a popular choice with many chefs for its many varieties, nutritional content, and structural integrity. The sturdy frame of this vegetable allows for a warm preparation without the tremendous amount of shrinkage you typically get from spinach. Sautéing kale is changing the game of cooked greens! A small amount of fresh garlic tossed with a lemony vinaigrette adds an acidic twist, caramelizing as it cooks, and boosting the already complex flavor of the green. The addition of a lightly poached, pan-breaded egg brings a soft and creamy note to the dish (in addition to an excellent source of protein)! Poaching an egg may seem like an intimidating accomplishment, but if you follow a few simple steps you will end up with a perfectly poached egg every time. It’s all in the wrist! Step-by-step directions can be found in the recipe below.
Are you starving, and an egg is simply not enough? Add a freshly grilled chicken breast or piece of baguette (or both!) and you have a complete and satisfying weekday meal.
Warm Kale Salad with Crumbled Egg Recipe
- 8 eggs
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar powder
- 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
- 2½ cups French baguette breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups kale (stems removed)
- 3 cloves fresh garlic (finely minced)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried lemon peel
- ½ teaspoon sugar
Add all ingredients in a mason jar and close the lid. Shake to combine!
Fill a medium saucepan half full of water. Bring to a boil and then add the vinegar powder. Swirl with a slotted spoon to combine, forming a small whirlpool. Crack one egg into a small bowl and hold directly above the boiling water (carefully!). Slowly slide the egg into the water and continue to gently stir in a circular motion. Cook until the whites of the egg are solidified and no longer translucent (this takes typically 3-4 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on a clean towel to absorb the excess water. Continue this process until all eight eggs have been cooked. In two separate bowls, place the beaten eggs and the breadcrumbs. Gently place the poached eggs in the beaten egg mixture, covering their surface completely. Then, transfer the eggs to the bowl of breadcrumbs, and spoon the crumbs over the eggs to coat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a non-stick saucepan and heat. Add the egg and cook until the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted. Remove them from heat and place on a plate.
Roughly chop the kale (remove the stem). Add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a pan. First, add the chopped garlic and cook on low. After 2 minutes, add the kale and sauté on low until the greens have wilted. When fully cooked, turn off heat and stir in 2 Tablespoons of the vinaigrette.
Divide the kale among four plates and top with two eggs each.