I’m starting to hear that some Steveston locals are (gasp!) tiring of the taste of fresh salmon at this point in the season. If you share this sacrilegious view, I’d highly recommend making friends with someone who has a smoker and putting a piece of nicely smoked sockeye to good use with this delicious recipe, featured by Associated Press. Oh, and remember how lucky we are on the West Coast to be spoiled for seafood choice!
Start to finish: 40 minutes
2 cups of 1/2-inch bread cubes, cut from country-style bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 slices centre cut bacon
2 tablespoons minced shallot
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and ground black pepper
8 cups ripped frisee lettuce, baby arugula or shredded Tuscan kale
4 large eggs
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1-by-2-inch pieces
Heat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the oven’s middle shelf for 6 to 8 minutes, or until light golden. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium-low heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, then crumble it. Discard all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat from the pan and return the bacon to the pan along with the shallots. Cook over medium heat, scraping up the brown bits, until the shallots have softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining oil to the pan in a stream, whisking. Keep warm over low heat.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil.
One at a time, break the eggs into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. Tilt the egg around in the strainer and bang the strainer a few times on top of the bowl to let all the loose egg white fall through the strainer. Transfer the drained eggs to individual ramekins or small bowls. Discard the loose whites from the large bowl.
When the water is boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat. Very gently slide the eggs into the water and cover the pan. Poach the eggs in the residual heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until they have reached the desired degree of doneness. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a shallow bowl.
In a large bowl toss the lettuce with the warm dressing, then divide among 4 serving plates. Top each portion with a quarter of the croutons, a quarter of the salmon and a poached egg.