Tossed Greens with Strawberries, Avocado, Bacon, and Soft-Boiled Eggs

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Guess what?  The snow and ice have completely melted. Spring is FINALLY here!  Woohoo--doing a happy dance...doing a happy dance!  Two of the first things I have to get my hands on are fresh chives from my garden (can you believe that they made it through that blasted winter?) and sweet spring strawberries at the market.  They both come into play in this deeply flavored, sweet and savory salad.

It is perfect for a spring luncheon with friends or as a light Friday night dinner like my husband and I enjoyed it.  The greens are dressed with a delightful maple-balsamic dressing.  Just please use the good stuff and not the flavored high fructose corn syrup kind.  I'm talking about 100% pure maple syrup (I use Grade B from Trader Joe's). The salad is then topped with strawberries and avocado.  The original didn't call for bacon, but hello, there are eggs and maple syrup in there, so you just gotta have some bacon too☺.  Now about those eggs.  I like mine on the "soft centered-just barely set-little bit of runny" side. That creamy, golden center mixed in with the sweet dressing--yumm.  You could also poach them.  But if that is not your thing, you can certainly hard-boil them and slice them for the salad.  Remember--"make it for you, make it your own". 

Tossed Greens with Strawberries, Avocado, Bacon, and Soft-Boiled Eggs
serves 4

For the Balsamic-Maple Dressing
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup (I use grade B)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced

For the Salad
4 extra large eggs
8 cups (about 5 ounces) lightly packed mixed greens
1 1/2 cups quartered fresh strawberries
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Balsamic-Maple Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients; set aside.

For the Salad
Place the eggs in a single layer in a small saucepan with enough water to cover the tops of the eggs.  Bring the water to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow the eggs to cook in the hot water for another 2 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, remove each egg and lightly tap each end of the eggs on a flat surface.  Place the eggs in a bowl of ice water and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Carefully peel the eggs; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the greens with enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves.  Season to taste with kosher salt.  Divide the greens among 4 salad plates and top with the strawberries, avocado, and bacon. Top each salad with an egg and cut each egg in half to reveal the soft center.  Sprinkle the salad with the chives and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Chicken and Egg, by Janice Cole


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