Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Field greens with a Fried Egg, Lentils, Avocado, Tomato and Lemon Vinaigrette

Poached, scrambled, hardboiled or fried, I’ve yet to meet a dish that I won’t top with an egg. In my kitchen, where there’s a will, there’s an egg white. I will concede cake and ice cream. I do not believe eggs are appropriate dessert toppings. Not yet at least. Of course, when you get down to it, eggs are a cheap, easy solution for transporting many a savory dish from simple to sublime. And nothing tastes better than cheap.

Take salad. More specifically, the salad I had for lunch today. A bed of field greens piled high with buttery, sliced avocado, tender lentils, tomatoes and a drizzling of lemon vinaigrette. Admittedly, this salad doesn’t require much else, unless that certain something happens to be a fried egg. Then you’ve really got yourself a salad. Warm egg yolk enrobes creamy avocado and sweet tomatoes in a luscious emulsion making for a light, satisfying lunch. So if it sounds good, go ahead. Put an egg on it.


Juice of one lemon

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

2 cups lightly packed field greens

¼ cup halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup cooked lentils (I get mine from Trader Joe’s but you can often find them canned as well)

½ avocado, sliced

1 large egg

1 tablespoon butter

For the Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, honey and Dijon mustard. Pour the olive oil in a slow stream while whisking constantly. Taste and adjust seasonings.

For the Salad:

Arrange the field greens on a plate and top with the cherry tomatoes, lentils and avocado. Set aside. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Crack the egg into the pan and cook until the white is solid and edges are lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes. Remove the egg from the skillet and place on top of the salad. Drizzle the salad with a couple teaspoons of the Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette and serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where The Countertop Ends

It is the rare New Yorker that’s lucky enough to possess a real working kitchen. For most of us, it's just a dream. Oh, what we wouldn't do for a little counter space? Hell, we'd settle for just a counter. When I landed my first apartment this summer, I was shocked to discover this amenity. As far as I was concerned, it was reason enough to sign for the place on the spot. When it came time to move in, I neatly arranged bottles of olive oil and vinegar along the wall, tucking my miniature coffeemaker into the corner and placing glass containers full of dried pasta, flour and coffee on display. It was just perfect—an immaculately organized space. Then, I realized something. Somewhere in between the flour jar and the pepper mill, things had become a little cramped. Forcing my cooking to become highly strategic, every dish presented its own unique set of challenges, obstacles and little victories. Diced onions have become a daily casualty, but the frittata continues to renew my faith in the magical properties of eggs. Of course, fancy maneuvering aside, I still manage to chop, smash and mince my way through it all, keeping my balance somewhere in between the wall and where the countertop ends.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink

Just before going home to Texas, I decided to clean out my refrigerator. Finding fresh kale, half an avocado, artichoke hearts, roasted asparagus, sliced apple, tomatoes and smoked duck breast, I knew I could pull something delicious together. I decided on salad. I began by marinating raw kale in lemon juice, spanish olive oil and and pecorino romano. While the kale softened, I quartered and sliced a small mountain of vegetables. After a quick toss in my salad bowl, I piled my chunky salad onto a small white plate. With toothsome kale, sweet apple, creamy avocado and smoked duck, it was satisfying, but certainly not for the faint of heart. Cleaning out the fridge has never tasted so good.