All this for a salad

[Recipe: Soft-Boiled Egg Salad with Golden Croutons]

I need help.

There. I said it. And it wasn’t so bad. Now [deep inhale], on to the why.

I have a compulsion I must confess: I hoard magazines. I subscribe to more than I actually have time to read –- the logic being that, as a magazine writer, I ought to be well acquainted with the material.

I think I secretly believe that magazine content must hold keys to well-being and efficiency. I’m one of those people who do that thing where I mark pages I want to refer to again for some unqualified reason or other. I do so discreetly, just a small, tightly creased triangle at the top corner. Maybe there’s some useful household tip, or a book I don’t want to miss, or a place I want to visit. Maybe I just liked the way something was written.

But more often than not, I’m folding down pages with recipes. Recipes, recipes, recipes. How can I resist?

I’ve tried not to let my “collection” arrive at clutter, and so I’ve tried to devise systems for dealing with the piles –- or at the very least to keep them in neat stacks, hidden away in my office. There’s the small stack of completely untouched-as-yet issues of the New Yorker and Gourmet, Domino and Brain, Child. There are the stacks of issues I’ve read, but that have quite a few earmarked pages. Those I can’t bear to sort into the recycling just yet, not until I’ve ripped those pages out and filed them or otherwise dealt with them.

And there are also issues that are so chock full of good stuff –- travel destinations, organizational tips (oh, ha!), and yes, recipes, that they have been placed in the “forever” stack. Those are issues I’ve committed to, eternal heart and soul.

Except that their bound and glossy pages are consigned to rest behind closed cabinet doors, to be effectively ignored by me. Because who has time to look through these bygone periodicals and be reminded as to why they were the saved ones? Really.

The other night, in what can only be described as an organizing frenzy, I attempted to sort through the magazines, to tear out those pages that might truly make a difference in my life, as compared to those that are just taking up space.

And that’s when I found it. The recipe for this salad.

It’s from an old issue of Real Simple magazine. Over the years I’ve made many a recipe from the pages of Real Simple, and to be honest, they’re not altogether foolproof (there was some cooked nectarine thing that sounded amazing, but ended up a mushy, incoherently spiced mess).

This salad, though, turned out deliciously. This salad is graduating from insignificant tear sheet status to having a permanent home in my salad recipe file.

Soft-Boiled Egg Salad with Golden Croutons
Adapted from Real Simple

I can’t say enough about runny yolks. Everything they touch turns to gold. Here they coat the greens, which are already lightly dressed, adding a rich dimension to the salad.

8 large eggs
1 tbsp good white or red wine vinegar
½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp kosher salt, divided
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 ½-inch-thick slices French bread or country loaf, crusts removed and cut into ½-inch-wide sticks
5 oz mixed greens

Fill a saucepan with 4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place eggs, one by one, on a spoon and lower them gently into the water. Return to a low boil. Cook until desired doneness, about 6 minutes for runny yolks (note: I used eggs from our chickens, which are much smaller than store bought. Next time I’ll try cooking for 4 minutes).Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, ¼ tsp of the salt, ¼ tsp of the pepper, and 1 to 2 tbsp of the oil, adjusting for taste. Place the greens in the bowl, on top of the dressing, and toss to coat.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of remaining oil (note: I used one) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer garlic to a plate. Add the breadsticks to the oiled skillet and toast, turning until golden. Divide the greens among four plates and top with the garlic and croutons. Crack the eggs, break them in half, and use a spoon to scoop the eggs from the shells onto the individual salads. Top with salt and pepper.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carleton Place Public Library said,

    I feel your pain on the magazine issue! I have the same sort of compulsion to mark pages in my magazines to return to later. Ahh…but sadly, it rarely gets done.

    I’m glad you found a gem in all of your organization attempts!

  2. 2

    Julianne said,

    If you have any magazines you don’t want let me know. I need some for my art class. thanks.

  3. 3

    Trisha said,

    Shoot, Julianne! I just recycled a huge stack. But I promise there’s more where that came from. I’ll be sure to send some your way soon!

  4. 4

    […] been a lot of salads around here lately. A perfect, basic vinaigrette here. Greens and eggs here. Nostalgia and avocado and citrus […]

  5. 5

    Cheryl said,

    I haven’t had a runny yolk-topped salad in ages, and there’s very little that’s more comforting or satisfying. I’m glad you dug out this recipe and shared it with us.

  6. 6

    […] weekly, food, goat cheese I don’t know if you remember last month’s cathartic admission that I’m an eager supporter of the magazine publishing industry, but we have a mystery […]


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