A delightful lunch or a light supper, this warm arugula salad with balsamic vinegar and poached eggs can also be made with baby spinach leaves.
This warm arugula salad is one of my favorite lunches (lettuce wrap sandwich is another good one).
If you prefer light dinners, this warm arugula salad is perfect for that. As a kid, I grew up in Israel, where it’s customary to have a heavy cooked lunch and a light dinner of eggs and vegetables. After 20 years in the U.S., I love everything about this country. But I still prefer to have a bigger lunch and a lighter dinner. So this is perfect for me.
The secret to a great salad is to wilt the arugula leaves ever so slightly. You want to keep them in the skillet just enough to coat them in the balsamic vinegar dressing, then remove them to a plate.
PS. The recipe below is written for two, but sometimes I make the whole thing just for myself!
Warm Arugula Salad
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 (1 oz) thin slices bacon, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 oz baby arugula leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Poach the eggs: Break each egg into a small bowl. Heat water in a medium saucepan. When water reaches a gentle boil, add a tablespoon of vinegar. With a hand whisk, whisk the water vigorously to create a whirlpool. Slide one of the eggs into the whirlpool. Use the whisk again to create another whirlpool and slide the second egg into that whirlpool. Cover the saucepan, turn heat off and set the timer for five minutes. After five minutes, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a paper-towel-lined plate, to drain. Tent with a foil to keep the eggs warm.
- Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, fry the bacon pieces over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate, leaving the fat rendered behind (this should be about 2 tablespoons and will be the base of your salad dressing).
- Add the balsamic vinegar, stirring with a wooden spoon, cooking over medium heat about one more minute, until the vinegar has reduced by half. By now the vinegar has lost its acidity and has become delightfully thick and sweet.
- Remove the skillet from heat. Add the arugula and the bacon pieces, season with black pepper, and toss briefly to coat.
- Transfer the arugula salad to two plates. Place a poached egg on top of each plate. Season the eggs with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.