Poaching eggs, that is. I found this salad in a Jamie Oliver cookbook, Happy days with the naked chef, that I got at the annual book sale a few weeks ago. I made a few changes, like omitting the garlic since I'm going to sit on a bus for four hours this afternoon and wanted to be nice to my fellow passengers. I had never poached an egg before, and I was a bit freaked out when I saw the surface of the water covered with coagulated egg white and I couldn't see what was below. A horrible inedible mess? Cthulhu? But it worked, and the salad tasted lovely: the crispy bread, the salty pancetta and parmesan, the perfect egg with the yolk still a bit runny... I'm probably freaking Markus out here because he hates eggs and would think that I have ruined perfectly good pancetta and parmesan with this, but if you do like eggs, try this, because it's great!
1 chunk of French or Italian style bread
Flaky sea salt
3 strips of pancetta
A handful of mixed greens
More olive oil + white wine vinegar
A small piece of parmesan cheese
Take the chunk of bread, remove the crust and tear it into bite sized pieces. I used organic French country style bread made with stone ground rye, but ciabatta or a baguette would work as well. Sprinkle olive oil on top and season with some sea salt. Put in the oven at 200 degrees C for 8-10 minutes, until the bread is crusty. Cut the pancetta in smaller pieces and place that on top of the bread. Put in the oven for another 4-5 minutes until the pancetta is crispy as well.
Place a handful of mixed greens on a plate and drizzle some olive oil and vinegar on top. Put the bread and pancetta over the salad. Now, poach the egg. Bring water to a simmer in a pot, and crack the egg into the water. Don't stir, don't do anything, just let it boil for 4 minutes (more if you don't like your yolks runny). You will probably end up with a lot of coagulated egg white on top of the water, but when you remove the pan from the heat and lift up the eggs with a perforated ladle, you will find that the white has surrounded the yolk and that all your worries were unfounded! Place the egg on top of the salad, and finish off with some shaved parmesan. Enjoy!