06.28.09: brunch bistro-style with poached eggs, spinach salad and homemade ricotta cheese

First off–to those who are joining us from The Kitchn:  benvenuto, tutti!  We were thrilled to be among those chosen to guest-post, and we welcome you to explore our little piece of the food blogging universe.

Poached Eggs, Spinach Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette, and Ciabatta Garlic Toasts with Homemade Ricotta and Speck

Poached Eggs, Spinach Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette, and Ciabatta Garlic Toasts with Homemade Ricotta and Speck

This was a weekend of experimentation:  Michael took a small risk by doing a pan-Mediterranean take on tapas (apparently he was worried I wouldn’t like it, which seemed odd, but his concern was moot anyway as I happily dug into my plate) and I did the same by making ricotta cheese, as I had never done so before and it’s one of his least favorite cheeses to eat.  The recipe on Epicurious seemed so simple, though, so I at least wanted to try my hand at it; after all, we’ve done duck ham and will probably cure some pork in the next few weeks–why not add cheese into the mix?

The cheese came out well, if a little too lemony (I think I used just a little too much–shame on me for  not measuring!), and paired nicely with the salty speck, crusty bread and runny eggs.  I always liked the idea of having a salad with brunch to cut some of the grease inherent in so many of the classic dishes, and this one–a mustard vinaigrette–is perfect for spinach:

Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together mustard and desired amount of vinegar (some like a 1:1 ratio, others a 2:1 of oil to vinegar), add salt and pepper to taste, then slowly add oil and whisk to combine.  Drizzle over greens of choice.

It’s a light alternative to traditional brunch, to be sure, and perfect for a summertime morning/afternoon after a backyard cookout.  Buon apetito!

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