Autumn Salad with Crisp Bacon, Apples and Softly Cooked Eggs

Three Swingin' Chicks Recipes

I love the taste of softly cooked eggs in salads. In this salad the tender white of the eggs combined with the soft yolks create the perfect contrast to the crisp tangy apple and the smoky bacon. Use the famous applewood-smoked Neuske’s Bacon www.neuskesbacon.com for the best flavor.

I’ve recently been introduced to Northern Lights Blue cheese and its creamy sweet peppery flavor is the perfect match for this salad. It’s made at the University of Minnesota and can be found in many Twin Cities cheese shops. For those of you out of state, try Maytag Blue from Iowa. It’s readily available across the country or check out their website at www.maytagdairyfarms.com.

Oregano Dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or a generous ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Greek oregano)
Pinch salt and freshly ground pepper

Salad:
4 eggs
3 cups mixed greens
1 apple, unpeeled, sliced (use a crisp sweet-tart apple such as Honeycrisp)
4 strips bacon, cooked, coarsely crumbled
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese or feta cheese

Blend the all of the dressing ingredients together in a small blender, hand blender or mini food processor until combined and slightly thickened. Or make the dressing by hand. Whisk all of the ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined.

Cover the eggs with about 1-inch of water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat and boil 4 minutes, adjusting the heat when needed to keep the water at a gentle boil. Run the eggs under cold running water about 30 seconds or until they are warm, but not hot. Carefully peel the eggs, the whites will be firm but the yolks will still be slightly soft.

Meanwhile, place the greens in the center of two plates. Arrange the apples over the greens and scatter the bacon over the apples. Sprinkle the olives around the salads and top each salad with the blue cheese. Drizzle the dressing over the salads.

Place 2 eggs around each salad and cut each in half. (Because the yolks are soft you need to cut the eggs while on the salad plate so the yolks can gently ooze into the salad.) Lightly sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 (this recipe can be easily doubled)

Copyright 2008 Janice Cole