Monday, May 14, 2012

Country Farmhouse Salad

This Country Farmhouse Salad is a hearty combination of fresh baby spinach, asparagus, and sauteed mushrooms and shallots, topped with a buttery fried egg and garnished with crispy bacon. Perfect for a brunch or as dinner on a warm evening this salad strikes a pleasing balance between healthy greens and a touch of decadence.


I had two primary inspirations guiding my hand as I created this dish: the first is the classic French salad featuring frisee lettuce, lardons, and a poached egg; a salad I adore. Always served with croutons or a toasted baguette it is a delicious meal. The second inspiration was a warm mushroom salad I ate at the dinner following my best friend Gabriel's wedding. It was a tantalizing combination of simple flavors that combined to form an exquisite appetizer. I was actually sad to see the bottom of my plate.

Start with a variety of mushrooms for the most nuanced flavor in the final dish. I used oyster mushrooms and white mushrooms but you can add crimini or baby portabellas, shitake or chantrelles - whatever you can find and afford.


If you prefer to make this dish lighter you can omit the bacon (but perhaps add some caramelized onion strings) and poach the egg instead of frying it. In this recipe the measurements are guidelines. Use your own tastes as your guide.

Country Farmhouse Salad ~ serves 2
3 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
2 cups mushrooms, minced
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 tablespoons half & half
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 clove garlic, minced
2-4 slices bacon
10-12 asparagus
2 eggs
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper

Cook bacon in a skillet to desired crispness. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add minced shallot to bacon fat and sauté until soft. Add minced mushrooms, season with salt, and cook until water begins to release.  Add minced garlic and continue cooking until mushrooms are cooked down. Add thyme and half & half. Remove to a bowl.

Add olive oil and fry asparagus to desired doneness. Remove asparagus from skillet, melt butter and fry eggs. While eggs are cooking whisk together the dressing and arrange spinach on a platter. Top with mushrooms, bacon, asparagus and add dressing. Top with eggs and serve.


Melt from the buttery, bacony, earthy, deliciousness that is this salad. Try not to cry when you see the bottom of the plate.


Enjoy!

14 comments:

  1. Yum! This recipe sounds amazing. Loving the colours, too!

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  2. Perfect for a Texas summer evening. Bookmarked and faved.

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  3. Yummy, this sound absolutely delicious! I love all of the ingredients in it so this is definitely going to be made! Thanks for sharing ;)

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  4. At the restaurant I used to work in, we used to have rotating salads for the categories Hunter, Gardener, Farmer. Farmer's Salad always had a poached egg that completed the vinaigrette. Love the Springyness of this version. :)

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  5. I've always struggled with egg in my salad. Do you think it would be weird if I left it out? Because the rest of it looks amazing!!

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    1. You can definitely leave it out. You could add some sauteed chicken or white beans instead.

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  6. I make that exact salad dressing all the time! Beautiful photography and a yummy looking meal!

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  7. Gorgeous salad! I've made one similar to yours but with a poached egg....and no mushrooms. I love the idea of mushrooms...mmmmm.

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  8. beautiful salad! is it weird that i would totally want this for breakfast?

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  9. I love these types of salads. Just give me some crusty bread and I'm all set - no other dinner required!

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  10. Yum! This salad is gorgeous! I love the runny egg with the greens and the crunchy bacon....Mm.. Mmm!

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  11. I must agree with Kristina! You practically don't need the dressing once a runny egg is broken.

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