Saturday, June 20, 2009

There's hell and then there's....Salad?

Yeah, so...what a post title, no? There's hell and then there's salad?

Allow me to explain, because this lovely salad was far from hell. In fact, it was heavenly.

Somehow, whenever it's hotter than Hades outside...that saying (with a twist) comes to mind. I knew someone once whose great-grandfather was incarcerated in a southern state during prohibition for running booze. This southern state in which he served his time was, shall we say, less than pleasant during the summer months. Upon his release, his only comment to his family about that time was, "Well, there's hell....and then there's...."

And, I've been thinking about culinary hell lately too. Stay's all ahead.

Bistro Salad...the perfect cure for hell on earth...or a hot day where you don't want to heat up your kitchen. This recipe is originally from Cooking Light and I found it here, where it is printable.

Bistro Dinner Salad:


3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
4 large eggs
Cooking spray
2 bacon slices (uncooked)
8 cups gourmet salad greens
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
1 Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon*****
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard


Place nuts in a small skillet; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.

Break 1 egg into each of 4 (6-ounce) custard cups coated with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and microwave at high for 40 seconds or until set; let stand 1 minute. Remove eggs from cups; drain on paper towels.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crisp; cool slightly. Remove bacon from the pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings. Crumble bacon. Combine walnuts, bacon, greens, blue cheese, and pear in a large bowl.

Combine 1 teaspoon reserved drippings, vinegar, oil, tarragon*****, and mustard in small bowl; stir with a whisk. Drizzle over greens mixture; toss gently. Arrange 2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 serving plates; top each serving with 1 egg.

My eggs turned out more done than I would have liked, but, it was hot and my microwave hates me...and I was out of more eggs...and I didn't want to go out and get really, just imagine them a tad softer. How hard is that?

So, here's where my very own hell comes in to play. Because I am sure I'm going to culinary hell...I have a confession to make. And since this is the internets, it's out there... I suppose I'm goin' down as hard as my eggs. Someone, please read me my know that one? The right to remain silent?

*****I loathe tarragon. There, I said it. I DO! I loathe it! Lock me up! Send me to hell! It won't matter... that stuff tastes like perfume to me! So, I substituted thyme in the dressing...which is all perfect with eggs, and which I love. I thyme...

Since I'm goin' down over this confession...I'll gladly serve my thyme in hell, just give me a few minutes to pack some of this salad in my hand basket. ;)


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