Warm Salad of Greens No.1
Middle of the week, when power slowly runs down, I need something light to back up energy and strength, so I gathered some of my favorite veggies in this beautiful mixed salad of greens. You’ll have the crunchy, fresh broccoli paired with creamy avocado on a background of plopping peas and hydrating cucumber, spiced up with a fresh herbs and chili marinade, under the balmy assurance of a waxy poached egg.
Ingredients: 1 small broccoli (app. 300 g), 1 avocado (if possible organic), 200 g peas (fresh or frozen), 1 small cucumber, 1 fresh egg per person, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh chili pepper, balsamic vinegar, apple vinegar, additional fresh herbs of your choice.
It will make a perfect hot-summer lunch for two persons, or a hearty lunch for a hungry one.
Steaming the veggies
Blanche or – much better – steam the broccoli and the peas. No steamer? But you have a fine-mesh, stainless-steel strainer that will easily fit over one of your pots? Pour 2 to 5 cm height of water in this pot, cover with a lid, and bring the water to boil. Place the veggies in the strainer over the boiling pot and cover the strainer with the lid. Reduce some of the heat, so that a steady medium steam would blanket the veggies in the strainer. Take care that the water in the pot will not run out. Still you shouldn’t lift the lid all too often, because each time the cooking process will be interrupted.
Also important: take your time and steam one sort after another, not altogether. You should also slice the thicker part of the broccoli stems (10 – 15 minutes) and steam it longer than the florets (7-8 minutes).
Marinade & Chili
In the meantime, make a salad sauce out of 3-4 TBS of olive oil, 1 TS of balsam- and 3 TS of the apple vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and add as much very finely chopped chili pepper and fresh herbs you wish.
If you’re not quite familiar with using fresh chilies, best start with a Hungarian wax pepper, and don’t use more than 1 or 2 cm for a safe beginning.
Poach the Egg
Poach your egg. This might be a pretty challenging task. Each famous cook has his 100% success method, but I personally go with Jamie Oliver’s swirl method, because it easily works and all you need is a pot with hot water and a pinch of salt. Of course, if you lack the time and cooking space, you might prefer to simply boil your egg the straightforward way.
Bringing all together
Even if you were busy with the marinade and the egg, you shouldn’t forget to regularly check on the broccoli and the peas and take them off the heat/steam at the right time. Otherwise, you’ll have a mash-y, non-edible green-brown mass of veggies instead.
Mix the well strained room-tempered broccoli and peas with the marinade.
Peel the avocado and cut in thin slices or tiny cubes, then add to the mix, as well as the finely sliced cucumber.
Taste and season more if needed. Place your poached egg on top. Enjoy with or without a chunk of freshly baked bread.