The Days of Eggs and Strawberries

I have one more Greece recap for you….I realized after I published “Part III” on Friday that it was all wonky with most of the post missing….sorry about that, I’ll  re-write and re-post, in the meantime…

I love a poached egg. The beau and are obsessed with the frisee salad with a poached egg at our beloved Senate. The way the egg creates its own sauce over the crisp and vinegary frisee is simply delightful.
 
Last week, I had picked up some beautiful items from the farmer’s market (strawberries, asparagus and fresh pasta).  I was looking to make a simple meal from these goodies. A quick flick through this month’s Everyday Food and I had my dinner recipe: “Linguine with asparagus and poached egg”.  I adapted this recipe further to suit my own tastes, and I loved the way it turned out.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Pasta with a Poached Egg
Or “How To Get Your Boyfriend to Eat Vegetarian without Complaining”
8 oz whole wheat linguine (or pasta of your choosing)
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise
2 tbs butter
4 oz goat cheese
zest from one small lemon
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper 
4 fresh eggs


Set a large pot of water over medium-heat to boil. Once the water is at rolling boil, add a sprinkle of sea salt and the pasta. Allow pasta to cook al dente, according to package instructions.  Within the last 3 minutes of cooking, add halved asparagus spears. (I loved this technique of slicing the asparagus in half; this way, no one is stuck with just stems, and the halves blended perfectly with the long pasta). Cook asparagus with pasta for 3-5 minutes, until asparagus is crisp-tender. Using large colander, drain both the pasta and asparagus, reserving one cup of the pasta water.

 Return pasta and asparagus to pasta pot on the stove (with no heat on). Add butter, goat cheese and 1/4 c. of the pasta water, slowly adding more as necessary to create a sauce. Stir in lemon zest and 1 tsp each of black pepper and sea salt. Taste here, add more salt/pepper if desired. Cover and let stand for a few minutes.

Poaching Eggs:
In a deep skillet, heat 3 inches of water to a simmer, you should see small bubbles float to the top; but this should NOT be boiling. Crack one egg into a small ramekin and SLOWLY pour the egg from the ramekin into the simmering water. DO NOT TOUCH the egg. Let the egg cook and shape, this should only take a minute or two. Once the egg is completely white/opaque,  using a slotted spoon, gently scoop the egg out of the water and place on a paper plate (to absorb some of the excess water).  Repeat with the other three eggs. If you’re a pro, cook all  at the same time, I am not a pro. 

Plate a serving of goat cheese/asparagus pasta with one of the poached eggs on top. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper over the top. Serves 4.


Cracking the egg and allowing the yolk to run into the cheesy pasta is probably one of life’s most simple and delicious pleasures.


Heaven.

To have with Heaven, I had beautiful strawberries that I put to work in a side dish and dessert.

Strawberry Basil Salad
3 cups of baby spinach, washed
one small handful of basil, gently wiped with a damp towel, and snipped into strips
1 persian cucumber (a small, seedless cucumber), sliced into rounds
1 cup of strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
Sea Salt, Black Pepper

Toss spinach, basil and cucumbers together. Arrange strawberries over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.  Serve with Strawberry Vinaigrette. Serves 3.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
4 tbs olive oil
3 strawberries, crushed (simply smush in your hands)
pinch each sea salt & black pepper
Add ingredients to a small jar and shake the bejeezus out of it. Serve with salad.
Serves 4-6.

Finally, a simple but quintessentially summer dessert, Strawberry Shortcake.
This version had alot of store-bought help, but we loved how it turned out nonetheless.
Simple Strawberry Shortcake
4, 1″ slices of butter pound cake (I beg you to use pound cake, not angel-food cake)
1 cup of strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced thinly
2 cups of whipped cream (we used Brown Sugar Whipped Cream and it was divine!)
Basil leaves, lemon peel (optional)

Slice each piece of pound cake in half, width-wise, so you have two very thin slices. Arrange 4 slices on a serving plate. Layer each slice with whipped cream, then add a layer of strawberries, and another layer of whipped cream. Top each piece with the other thin slice of cake. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry slice on top, garnish with a basil leaf or lemon peel. Serves 4.

Variation: You could mash and then macerate the strawberries in a bit of sugar, Grand Mariner or Limoncello to make a strawberry filling that would give the cake some moisture if you prefer.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Salad – I am impressed at how well you can poach an egg! Many say that the way you can tell a good cook is by how well they can make an egg. That looks good enough to eat…even though I hate poached eggs.

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