Bacon and Egg Salad
Makes: 4 servings
Total carbohydrates: 12 grams per serving
Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
This decadent concoction is based on a fancy French bistro salad, Frisée aux Lardons, which tops bitter curly endive with lardons (French for “bacon chunks”), a poached egg, and croutons. We’re skipping the croutons here, for the sake of a carb-reduced life, but we are doubling the bacon, so really, it’s a net gain! Plus, topping a salad with a poached egg is kind of like topping a salad with a rich, delicious ladleful of Hollandaise sauce, in the best possible way.
8(ish) lightly packed cups kale, collards, or curly endive, thick stems removed and leaves torn or sliced into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons white vinegar
8 slices of thick bacon, sliced crosswise into small pieces
1 shallot, finely chopped (or a tablespoon or 2 of finely chopped onion)
¼ cup sherry vinegar or red- or white-wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried (or skip this and it will still be good)
Freshly ground pepper
1.Put the greens in a large bowl and set aside. Fill a pot half-full with water, add the white vinegar, and bring to a boil over high heat while you make the bacon and dressing. (The jury’s out on whether adding vinegar to egg-poaching water actually helps keep the egg from spreading too much, but I go ahead and add it anyway.)
2. Cook the bacon in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until most of the fat is melted and the bacon is crisp, 10 or so minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel-covered plate.
3. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat (you can just eyeball this—it’s not an exact science), then fry the shallot (or onion) in it until soft and translucent, 2 – 4 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt and cook until the vinegar is bubbling and a little bit reduced (another minute or 2). Turn off the heat, whisk in the olive oil and tarragon, and pour most of the hot dressing over the greens, using tongs to toss it all well, until the greens look a bit wilted. Taste a leaf: if it’s underdressed, add the rest of the dressing; if it only needs more salt or a whisper of vinegar, then add just that. Portion the dressed greens into four bowls and distribute the bacon evenly over them.
4. Now poach the eggs. Turn the pot of water down to a simmer and carefully crack the eggs and slide them into the water (I crack the eggs into individual mugs first, then slide each one into the water. If I didn’t have a dishwasher, I might not do it this way.) Poach the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-covered plate.
5. Top each bowl with an egg and freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.