The Perfect Bistro Salad
Now this is my kinda salad!! A bistro salad so colorful and delicious, you could close your eyes and swear you were seated at a fancy French bistro…Half the cost, all the taste!! Although, I would rather be enjoying it on a cobble stoned street in Paris, my couch will have to do for now!
This salad is a cinch to put together and perfect for a quick lunch, or a light dinner. If you remove the poached eggs, this salad could work beautifully as a side to roast chicken or even a simple lemon pasta.
During the winter months, the only kind of tomato I will allow myself to buy is the cherry tomato. For some reason with a little salt and pepper, a cherry tomato can still be quite delicious in the winter.
Whereas all other types of tomato taste like soggy, flavorless mush, the cherry tomato appeases my need for the big red fruit!! These cherry tomatoes were lurking on my counter, so I decided to toss them with garlic and olive oil and roast ’em up! Roasted cherry tomatoes are like little flavor bombs that add amazing texture and a little zing to soups, salads, grilled cheese, pastas, yada-yada-yada..all kinds of stuff really! They are super easy too, and that is always a plus in my book!!!
While the tomatoes roast, I shave a little Parmesan and fried up some croutons. Since I had leftover bread from these ratatouille bread boats, I tore it up into cute little rustic chunks and fried it up in some olive oil. Delish!!!!
If you want to forego the eggs, this salad is vegetarian….and still drool worthy!!
Once our water is at a boil, we poach our eggs. A very simple technique I learned awhile back to make poaching eggs simpler, was to use mason jar tops. First we crack the eggs into their own small bowls, then, once our water is ready, we gently slide each egg into it’s own mason jar nest. Once inside the pot, we turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow it to poach for 3 minutes. This method has never failed for me. The reward: firm whites and creamy, ooey gooey yolks! Yum central!!
Let’s grab our ingredients and get cookin’!! I guarantee a lovely little meal!! This salad would pair very nicely with a dry white wine or even a bubbly glass of champagne…but all food goes great with champagne..am I right?
- 2 handfuls of arugula, washed and dried
- 2 eggs cracked into separate bowls
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
- Torn French Bread for croutons, as much as you like
- 1 Tbsp olive oil for croutons
- 1 garlic clove minced for croutons
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated on microplane
- 1Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix halved tomatoes, minced garlic, salt and pepper together in a bowl and pour onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes and remove. A hard spatula is good at removing any stuck tomatoes (those are the best ones in my opinion).
- While tomatoes roast, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a cast iron skillet and once hot, drop torn bread in and toss to coat, adding more oil if too dry. Once crispy, add a minced clove and cook 30 seconds, remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
- In a mason jar, add all vinaigrette ingredients and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.
- Crack two eggs into separate small bowls.
- Fill a pot with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, add 2 tsp of vinegar and your two mason jar lids if using. Slide an egg into each lid, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid to poach eggs for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to blot off excess water. Sprinkle with finishing salt if desired.
- Add vinaigrette to a bowl along with two handfuls of arugula and mix with your hands to coat the greens. Add your poached eggs, shaved Parmesan, roasted tomatoes, and crispy croutons. Drizzle more vinaigrette and enjoy!!!
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