The recipe looked great; the only problem was the eggs. Like Sam in Dr. Seuss’s book Green Eggs and Ham, my companion has tried to get me to eat eggs when the yolks are hard, mushy or runny. I just don’t like yolks—no kidding. But when the word “deconstructed” caught my attention, I thought this was an opportunity to prepare something for those who share my yolk aversion. So I prepared what seems like a good adaptation of Dorie Greenspan’s recipe which I will call “Deconstructed BLT and Faux Eggs.”
The recipe is simple and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, maybe even the highlight for your next cookbook club meeting. It is a dish that can be started while making breakfast in the morning, as two of the star ingredients are bacon and bacon drippings. And as Emeril surely agrees, there is nothing quite like the smell of burning pig fat in the kitchen.
I admit my companion was the one slicing, dicing and frying, so I concentrated on making Dorie’s Everyday Vinaigrette (found on page 484 of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan). The Vinaigrette was completed in a snap as it consists of just three primary ingredients: wine vinegar (white or red), Dijon mustard, and extra virgin olive oil.
The eggs were the biggest obstacle as I could not think of a way to prepare them that would honor Dorie’s recipe while conquering my aversion. Fortunately, the solution was both tasty and photogenic. In place of the egg white, we used burrata mozzarella cheese purchased at Trader Joe’s. It has a creamier texture than regular mozzarella, and a subtle elegance to the flavor. When cut into appropriate sized chunks, the cheese looked remarkably like an egg white. Substituting for the egg yolk, the source of my aversion, was a baby “heirloom” yellow tomato cut lengthwise and pushed into the center of the cheese. I was amazed at how closely this amalgamation resembled a cooked egg.
In Southern California, avocado slices are frequently used in a BLT. The avocado’s color, creamy texture and flavor really complement the bacon and tomatoes. So my companion diced an avocado as an ingredient for the salad.
Assembly was a snap. The arugula was dressed with the vinaigrette and tossed with sundried tomatoes, avocados and halved cherry tomatoes. Next the bacon and bacon infused croutons were added. Finally, the Faux Eggs were lovingly placed on the top of the salad. Voila!
This makes for a great salad, but I suggest some changes. One, leave off the sundried tomatoes. Maybe the French version is superior in taste, but the kind I can get here is too tangy and its flavor is not offset by any of the other ingredients. Two, the vinaigrette is too light in flavor to balance the sharpness of the arugula and the tanginess of the sundried tomatoes. Next time I will make the vinaigrette stronger in flavor. Third, butter lettuce or romaine lettuce might be nice alternatives to the arugula. I feel arugula is sometimes too strong to be the single leafy green ingredient in a salad.
To read about other’s experience with deconstructed BLT and eggs, visit www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com.
We paired our Deconstructed BLT and Faux Eggs with the 2008 Foppoli Russian River Valley Reserve Chardonnay. The chardonnay has no maloactic fermentation and is made entirely in stainless steel eliminating the overbearing oakiness so frequently found in chardonnay. Beautiful balance of citrus and green-fruits on the palate.
Foppoli 2008 Chardonnay