Treat your mom to an extra special Mother’s Day morning with this Spring Brunch Salad topped with sweet and salty caramelized bacon and a perfectly silky poached egg.
That’s right, moms. I made you salad. For breakfast. I imagine you might be feeling a bit jipped at this point. Where’s your giant stack of pancakes, your ice cream stuffed crepes, your chocolate waffles? I mean, if there ever was an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, it’s Mother’s Day. But here I am, surprising you with a giant plate of greens for your big day.
Let me explain myself. This Brunch Salad is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill green salad. This salad has got sass. It’s got a tangy balsamic dressing. It’s got a drippy poached egg. It’s got fragrant basil. It’s got candied bacon. CANDIED BACON, friends. Now you see why I’m excited to wake you up way too early so you can eat salad in bed.
Caramelized bacon isn’t my own brilliant idea, though I wish I could claim it. It’s been around for awhile now, but I’ve never thought to do anything with it other than stuff it in my face. Crispy, salty, sweet, and studded with nuts, this bacon is impossible to resist. It’s quite addicting on it’s own, but it finds it’s soul mate in the golden yolk of a poached egg.
My friend calls poached eggs the “poor man’s luxury,” and I couldn’t agree with him more. The dirt cheap egg is transformed into something positively elegant when gently coddled in simmering water then perched atop a pile of greens and bacon. Pierce it with your fork, and you’ve got an instant silky smooth, golden sauce for your salad. It’s heavenly.
I’ve struggled with poached eggs for awhile now, but after a lot of experimentation, I think I’ve finally found the method I’m sticking with. This method comes from Julia Child and involves boiling the egg in it’s shell for a few seconds before cracking it into simmering water to finish poaching. This is the first method I’ve found that actually keeps the wispy whites from floating all over the place. Three cheers for fuss free poached eggs!
Speaking of fuss free, let’s talk about herbs for a second. The final flourish for this spring salad comes in the form of a generous sprinkling of basil. Have you ever bought an expensive bunch of herbs for a recipe, used about 1/3 of them, then watched them droop to pathetic new lows in your fridge until you guiltily throw them away? Yeah, me too.
That’s why for this recipe I used Gourmet Garden’s new line of lightly dried herbs. These herbs have all the sweet fragrance and flavor of fresh herbs, but last much longer in the refrigerator, meaning none of it goes to waste. Along with their refrigerated garlic, ginger, and herb pastes, the lightly dried line adds another easy and delicious way to add fresh-from-the-garden flavor to all your favorite recipes.
So treat yourself and your momma to a little brunch time luxury this Mother’s Day. I promise she’ll never be happier to eat peas for breakfast.
Spring Brunch Salad with Caramelized Bacon and Poached Egg
For the bacon
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
For the dressing
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
For the salad
- 4 eggs
- 8 cups mixed spinach and spring greens
- 1 cup peas
- 2 carrots shredded
- 4 tablespoons Gourmet Garden dried basil
For the bacon:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together the brown sugar and walnuts until in small crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients, and pulse a few times to combine. Spread the bacon out on a wire rack over a foil-lined sheet pan. Top with the brown sugar mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is browned, but not burnt. Remove from the oven and then place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate to cool to room temperature. Bacon can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, if desired.
For the dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a tightly sealed jelly jar and shake until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.
For the salad,
- Mix together the greens, peas, and carrots. To poach the eggs, bring one pot of water to a boil and another pot of water to a simmer. Use a push pin to poke a small hole in the large end of each of the eggs. Drop them in the boiling water and boil for 15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon then crack the egg into the simmering water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until softly poached.
- Plate each of the salads with the greens mixture. Top with a slice or two of caramelized bacon, a poached egg, and a Tablespoon of dried basil. Serve immediately.
This post was sponsored by Gourmet Garden. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support NeighborFood!