Sunday, November 6, 2011

Asparagus and Rocket Leaves Salad with a Poached Egg

I’m one of those weird people who eat all the salad leaves served as garnish of a dish at a restaurant and who swipe them off the big plate with appetizers at a formal dinner party. In fact, I always have a bowl of ready to eat leaves in my fridge so that I can start munching on them any moment I want, most of times without even bothering to pour some dressing over. I love all sorts of salad leaves but my favourite type is aragula (rocket leaves). Whenever I come to the market in season, the vendors – who are now aware of all my food preferences – usually offer me a big bunch of it straight away and are even ready to fetch it from their colleagues if they don’t have it in stock at the time…

It was one of those lovely days when I feel blessed with having an opportunity to set my alarm off and to sleep as long as I want. And I actually did! Since it was not long time left before the lunch (which promised to be rather heavy) I decided to go for something light and refreshing. And – yes, I had the rocket leaves in the fridge at the moment, and I was about to toss them with some tomatoes and to make a honey-based dressing (to counterbalance the peppery note, as I usually do) but then I started to hesitate whether I should go for my another favourite ingredient – asparagus – which also looked quite appealing (young and delicate, it was a local type, irresistibly flavourful in comparison with the imported one). I love to have it simply with a poached egg for breakfast – what a better option of a light meal can you think of? In the long run, I decided to combine both ideas and ended up having an absolutely smashing salad. To say true, I didn’t plan to take a picture of it but as I cut through that beautifully poached egg, I couldn’t but bring my camera and take a few shots. A mouthwatering dish, isn’t it?


½ bunch rocket leaves
150 gm asparagus spears, blanched
100 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
1 egg
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Make a dressing by combining honey, mustard and balsamic vinegar. Season it to taste. Put asparagus, tomatoes and rocket leaves in a bowl, pour the dressing over and toss to combine.
  2. To make a poached egg, break it carefully into a small bowl. Bring some water in a large pan to a boil, stir in the white wine vinegar and create a whirl, using a whisk. Slide down your egg into a centre, decrease the heat to low and leave the egg in a simmering water for a few minutes (make sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan).
  3. To serve, arrange the salad on a plate, top with a poached egg and sprinkle with cheese.


1.      Add some olive oil to the dressing if you want it be more vinaigrette-type.

2.      For a crunchy note, stir in some crushed nuts: if pine nuts are not available, walnuts would be a nice alternative.

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