Savoy Cabbage & Bacon Salad with a Golden Brown Egg
The inspiration for this remarkable cabbage salad came from the Boulder, Colorado restaurant Oak on Fourteenth. I've used curly savoy cabbage, but this is great with napa or green cabbage as well. Also, the eggs can be soft boiled and breaded 1 day in advance to ease the final preparation.
Prep Time 25minutes
Cook Time 7minutes
Total Time 32minutes
For the eggs:
4largewhole eggs in their shellpasture raised
1cuppanko or breadcrumbs
1/4teaspoonsea salt, plus more for topping
For the salad:
3tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
2tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
1teaspoonmaple syrupor honey
1/8teaspoonblack pepper, plus more for serving
1small headcabbage, such as savoy or napa, cored and very thinlyl slicedabout 8 cups
1/2cuppitted, chopped dates
To boil & bread the eggs:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and gently lower in the 4 whole eggs. Boil for 6 minutes, then shock in an ice water bath for 5 minutes. Peel the eggs, using a spoon to release any stubborn shells.
To bread the eggs, put the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Season the breadcrumbs with the salt and blend well. (If preparing the eggs in advance, put a rack on a sheet pan to hold the breaded eggs.)
Roll each egg in the flour and lift with a fork to shake off the excess. Next, roll it in the beaten egg and lift with the fork to let the excess drip off. Finally, put the egg into the dish with the breadcrumbs and your hands to firmly but gently to coat them well. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
To prepare the salad:
Heat a skillet over medium heat and line a plate with paper towels. Add the bacon and when the fat melts, turn the heat to medium low. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to brown. Drain the bacon on the paper towels and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and cook just until the shallots soften but do not brown. Turn off the heat, but leave the skillet on the burner. Add the vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth and blended and keep warm while you fry the eggs.
To deep fry the eggs:
Fill a small saucepan with oil at least 2 inches deep and have a deep-fry thermometer on hand. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Use a wire strainer or slotted spoon to dip each egg into the hot oil one at a time. Cook for 1-2 minutes, rolling the egg in the oil until it is evenly golden brown. Lift the egg from the oil with the strainer to the paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
To finish the salad:
Put the cabbage in a mixing bowl. Toss well using all of the dressing, then toss with the reserved bacon and the dates. Taste and season with more black pepper, if desired. Portion the salad into tall piles on serving plates and top with a deep-fried egg.
Granted, a soft-boiled, then breaded and finally deep-fried egg is a little time-consuming for ordinary days. A poached or fried egg is a perfectly wonderful and far simpler substitute for this salad. Either way, don't miss out on the runny yolk.