Wednesday, April 18, 2012

French Bistro Salad

French bistro salad with roasted potatoes, cauliflower
and a wonderfully runny poach egg

I have a tradition of buying a rotissierie chicken with all of the fixings on Friday nights.  It's kind of ironic when you consider I was raised a Catholic and was taught to eat fish on Fridays - and now I have fish for dinner every night except Fridays.  It's because my cleaning lady comes every other Friday and I try not to mess up the kitchen by cooking something splattery.  And I have leftovers for the rest of the weekend.  I like it so much I do this even on the Fridays that the cleaning lady doesn't come.

If you're not adept at poaching eggs you can always go with fried

The fixings include things like roasted potatoes, roasted cauliflower and broccoli rabe.  Over the past few weekends I've made a salad with the leftovers and it's really delicious.  I start with my old standbys of arugula and cannellini beans at room temperature.  Meanwhile, I heat some of the leftover chicken, potatoes and cauliflower and toss in cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.  The pièce de résistance is a runny poached egg.  If you can't swing the poached egg, a soft fried egg is just as good.

Arugula and cannellin beans - a nice start to any salad

I was a bit apprehensive about poaching an egg, so the first time I tried this recipe I fried an egg and it was great.  But I thought a poached egg would be better.  My friend Alan told me about an egg poacher he uses.  You just crack your eggs in the poacher and microwave them.

My $3.99 egg poacher

I found the egg poacher at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $3.99.  It works great but I'm still fine tuning how long to microwave them and at what power level so they come out perfectly.  I'm still in the trial and error phase with that.  The instructions that came with the poacher weren't very helpful.

I just love the warm egg yolk oozing down over the warm potatoes, roasted cherry tomatoes, chicken and other ingredients.  If you're squeamish about a runny egg yolk just cook the eggs the way you like them.  People with compromised immune systems also have to be careful about eating eggs this way.  It sounds a bit strange but I squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salad, too.  It compliments all the ingredients, giving the salad a fresh kick.  So, next time you're looking for something different for lunch, say oui oui to my French bistro salad. 

Saturday lunch


1 cup arugula - I buy it cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup cannellini beans - from the can but rinse before serving
1/4 cup kalamata olives (buy them pitted or take the pits out before serving)
1 or 2 eggs - poached or fried with runny yolk
I used the following leftovers and heated them in the oven
1/2 cup diced rotissierie chicken
1/2 cup chopped roasted potatoes
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes - chopped in half and roasted
1/2 cup roasted cauliflower and red onion
Juice of half a lemon
Extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar to taste
Drizzle of sesame oil


Start with the base of arugula and cannellini beans and you can improvise from there.  I listed the ingredients I used above.  But you're going for the mixture of textures and temperatures - the crunchy, warm roasted potatoes, the delishiously soft roasted tomatoes, the warm chicken contrasting with the room temperature arugula and beans.  The soft egg and tangy lemon juice pull the whole thing together.  Be sure to dress the salad and add the egg and lemon last.  


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