Recipe for Spring Egg Salad With a Twist

Bacon and eggs are my kind of salad. This simple, hearty, bistro toss up is perfect for Easter lunch or brunch. It makes a lively light spring dinner, too (but you’ll need lots of good crusty bread and perhaps some Shepherd’s Way Frisago as well). The sunny presentation is stunningly simple as frying bacon and poaching eggs. The fun is in poking the yolk and making a joyful mess of it all.

Though frisee is the classic green, I prefer peppery watercress (and with luck we may have some clinging to the edges of those burbling streams very soon). Toss in field greens or baby spinach if you like, a little sorrel and arugula as well. Some recipes call for lardoons, the fancy name for thick cut bacon bits (I prefer the thinner rashers, cooked crisp.) That said, the bacon makes this meal. Find the best from any of these local sources, and pick up some heritage pork, too.

Spring Greens Salad with Bacon and Poached Egg

Serves 4

Be sure to use eggs from free-range chickens, the yolks are brilliant and the flavor sure. Because I’m a total clutz when it comes to poaching eggs I’ve written the instructions using ramekins. You can poach them free-form in the simmering pan of water, but add a little vinegar to it first as it helps the egg whites cling together. The fresher the eggs, the easier this will be to do.

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 to 6 cups mixed greens
  • 1 head watercress, stemmed
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bacon in a skillet over low heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. Remove and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, shallot, and vinegar. Then whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons bacon fat.

Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil in a sauce pan, then lower the heat to a steady simmer. Lightly grease or butter four ramekins. Break one egg into each ramekin and set in the simmering water. Partially over and cook just until the yolks are set, about 4 minutes.

Toss the greens together with the red onion and most of the dressing; arrange on four separate plates. Crumble the bacon overall. Using a spoon, carefully slide one egg onto each. Spoon any leftover dressing over the eggs and garnish with the fresh thyme, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Beth Dooley (, is author of six cookbooks, including SAVORING THE SEASONS OF THE NORTHERN HEARTLAND, co-authored with Lucia Watson, a James Beard nominee, published by the University of Minnesota Press. Beth is a restaurant critic for Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, and a frequent contributor to the Star Tribune's "Taste" and The Mix. She appears monthly on the news show, "On Live", KARE-11 TV. Married with three (hungry, teen-aged) sons, Beth lives in Minneapolis (and in the summer, on Madeline Island)

The terrific photo above was taken by the amazing and talented Mette Nielsen. We're glad to have her work represented here, too.