This recipe sprung to life one fine, June afternoon as I strolled through the Union Square Market wondering, “what’s for dinner?” Sugar snap peas lay in heaps at many a farm stand, so those went into my bag. In went some baby arugula for a lemony contrast. I completed my produce pillage with yellow and green zucchinis, selected for color. At home I added goat cheese, at once milky and zesty, and some breadcrumbs I amped with garlic for texture. In France, entrée salads are often topped with a poached egg; when negotiated open with a fork, the yolk provides a creamy sauce all its own. I garnished my salad with just a crack of pepper, french vinaigrette and a dusting of lemon zest—voila!
- Dijon mustard
- champagne or white wine vinegar
- olive oil
- sea salt, pepper
- baby arugula
- sugar snap peas
- 1 yellow zucchini
- 1 green zucchini
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- mint olive oil
- breadcrumbs or croutons
- 1 minced garlic clove
- creamy goat cheese
- 1 egg per person
Set a small pot to boil on high heat; you want simmering water. Wash arugula, sugar snap peas, lemon and both zucchinis and set to dry.
Make your vinaigrette.
On medium heat, melt butter until it starts to bubble. Sauté peas about 6 minutes, until they are bright, but still crunchy. Add sea salt, pepper and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice to taste, then cover and set aside.
Cut both zucchinis in half, lengthwise. Using a mandolin, reduce halves to thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. With your knife, cut the slices into ribbons. For this salad, use the ribbons with skin (and thus, color). Sauté gently in mint oil over medium-low heat until cooked through. Finish with sea salt and pepper, then set aside, covered.
In the same pan you used to cook the peas, heat garlic on medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs or croutons, and toss for a few minutes, until toasted and the garlic is mixed. (You can use store bought, or make your own). Set aside, uncovered.
Poach as many eggs as there are people. Set on parchment paper.
Toss arugula with vinaigrette in a big bowl. Add the goat cheese, and mix thoroughly. Spoon salad into individual bowls, and top first with sugar snap peas, then breadcrumbs, then zucchini, then poached egg. Finish eggs with a sprinkle of pepper and grated lemon zest.