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French Fridays with Dorie: Deconstructed BLT and Eggs

Today’s the last day of September, it’s officially fall, and tomatoes are kind of over. This week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie, Deconstructed BLT and Eggs, was the perfect swan song for fresh local tomatoes.

I love the concept of “deconstructed” recipes. The ingredients of a classic dish are reconfigured into a new form. In this case, the diner (or home) favorite of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich was deconstructed into a salad. The salad started with a bed of arugula lighted coated with vinaigrette. The greens are topped with two forms of tomatoes. The recipe called for cherry tomatoes and sun-dried. Instead, I used a diced fresh tomato and a handful of Dorie’s slow-roasted tomatoes (one of my favorites recipes that we’ve made). Crumbled bacon is sprinkled on top, and then, to me, the pièce de résistance was the croutons sautéed in the bacon fat! Some hard-boiled eggs topped dabbed with mayonnaise finished it off.

This made a great light supper. It got thumbs up all around.

I had some extra croutons left over. I intended to make the salad a second time last night with the other half of the bag of arugula. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow Dorie’s advice about storing greens, and when I got ready to make dinner, I found the arugula was too wet and had spoiled. If you toss the croutons, tomatoes, and bacon with the vinaigrette, you have a delicious panzanella! The eggs would have been a nice topper too, but I didn’t have time to make them the second time around.

You can check out the other FFwD bloggers’ take on Deconstructed BLT and Eggs at the Leave Your Link on the French Fridays with Dorie site. I always find some new creative ideas for next time. To me, that’s half the fun of doing this weekly recipe challenge.

Amazingly, September ends the first year of French Fridays with Dorie. I’m excited to see what’s in store for the beginning of Year 2 in October.

French Fridays with Dorie: Bacon and Eggs and Asparagus Salad

Last weekend, I went to Delaware to attend a surprise party for my cousin’s birthday. It was a milestone birthday, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to help celebrate. It was a blast to spend the afternoon having lunch and catching up with family and family friends. The bonus of the weekend was that I flew in and out of Baltimore, so I also had an extended visit with my sister Jane (and a brief visit with my other sister Jennifer, but only at the party).

My sister Jane lives on a farm, though she, personally, does little in the way of farming. Her father-in-law takes charge of the agriculture and animal husbandry going on there. It is peak asparagus season in Maryland. Although Jane and I didn’t have time to cook together this trip, I was fortunate to be able to stash a bundle of freshly picked asparagus spears from their garden in my luggage. Perfect for this week’s FFwD (French Fridays with Dorie) recipe: Bacon and Eggs and Asparagus Salad!

Freshly Picked Asparagus

I really loved last week’s spinach and bacon quiche, so I’m not sure what superlative to use for this week’s salad which I loved even more, by leaps and bounds. True confessions, I do love salad for dinner. I made the full recipe and split it between the two of us for dinner, two eggs each. This salad had so many different flavors and textures. There was the piquant vinaigrette on the salad greens, the salty bacon, the grassy asparagus, the runny eggs, all topped with toasty walnuts. It was having a party in my mouth.

Busy Stovetop

On the downside, there were a lot of components to pull together, but each was easy to get ready and some steps could be done simultaneously. It came together faster than I expected.

My only gripe about this recipe is the eggs. First, I wish my eggs had been a little runnier. I cooked the eggs for the recommended 6 minutes. I’m thinking maybe I didn’t run them under cold water for long enough. They weren’t hard-boiled, but they were a little past soft-boiled. In any case, I thought that the egg part was fussy. The eggs were boiled, peeled, and warmed in bacon fat. Next time, I’ll just poach the eggs, which will be slightly less attractive, but easier for me (I don’t really like peeling boiled eggs).

I liked the vinaigrette so much that I made it again later in the week for tossing with more salad. I think it will get rolled into the salad dressing repertoire.

As I said, I adored this salad. Asparagus season is short, so I’m excited to read about any substitutions the other FFwD bloggers might have tried. You can check out their posts by following the links from French Fridays with Dorie. You can find the recipe in the cookbook, Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.