Monday, June 29, 2009
Food June '09: The Egg Part 2: Lunch
Could be lunch, could be dinner, but sometimes you have a hankering for salad. Not the salad that you get at the local pizza place, but the kind of salad you would have if you were fancy enough to eat lunch at a Bistro with your girlfriends during the week. While I love the Greek, the Caesar and the Nicoise, sometimes you don't need to be European to be "dressed up" and delicious. I have long been a fan of the Cobb salad, but always feel five pounds heavier after eating it - this delectable lighter version is inspired by my friend Barbara who always dresses her salads with avocado, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and olive oil and so in our house we call it...
The California Cobb with Truckee Dressing
Serves two as a light dinner or heavier lunch.
2 jumbo eggs - Pete and Gerry's are the BEST!
4 strips bacon ( I love Applegate Farms "Sunday Bacon")
1 cup grape tomatoes
8 stalks asparagus, trimmed bottoms
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan packed lightly
4 cups of baby romaine (in huge supply at farmer's markets or CFA's this time of year)
1 cup arugula
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash one cup of grape tomatoes and dry with a paper towel. Add one tablespoon olive oil and dust with sea salt. Roast for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have popped, take out and place on the stove to cool. Place two eggs in a small pot and fill with cold water until it covers the eggs. Place on high heat, watching until it comes to a boil. While you are waiting for the eggs to boil, wash 8 stalks of asparagus and place in a steaming pan with 1/2 inch of water, cover and steam for approximately 5-6 minutes until you can pierce them with a fork and they are bright green. Place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. When the eggs come to a boil, turn your timer on ten minutes and reduce to a bubbling simmer, removing them into a bowl of ice water when the timer beeps.
Meanwhile, microwave 4 strips of bacon to a dark crispy brown (different on each micro, mine takes 4 minutes), drain fat and let cool. Wash 4 cups of baby romaine and one cup of arugula packed lightly. Place greens in a salad bowl and add 1 avocado sliced thinly, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Juice 1/4 of a lemon over the greens and add 4 tablespoons olive oil and toss. Plate out into two bowls and then top with roasted tomatoes, asparagus spears cut in half, hard boiled eggs peeled and sliced, bacon slices hand crushed and finally, 1/4 cup each salad with shaved Parmesan. If you cannot buy the shaved Parmesan, use a potato peeler on a block of cheese to create the shavings.
Serving Suggestion: Meal with the kids
When I am making this as a dinner or a lunch, I turn the prep work into a meal for the kids as well. When boiling the eggs, place in an egg for each child while the water is cold. When the water has boiled for three minutes "soft boiled", take the kid's eggs out and chill in an ice bath for one minute, allowing the eggs for the salad to boil for an additional 7 minutes to come to "hard boiled." Meanwhile, steam the asparagus to al dente (when you stick a fork in, it feels penetrable but not soggy and is still bright green and not yellowing) and place it in an ice bath as well. Take the eggs out of the water and slice off the very top, placing them in a egg caddy. Take four of the spears and place them around the egg leaning on the caddy. Salt lightly. Let your kids play with their food and dip the "trees" into the "pot of gold."