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Monday, May 31, 2010

A Different Approach

It's been very warm outside the last few days, and due to some prior overindulgent eating, salad sounded like the appropriate replacement. I don't like giving up rich food even in a salad, but still this salad screams fresh vibrant colors and tastes. The salad and side are meatless, yet satisfying with a variety of textures that always makes the palate jump up and down for joy.

It was only last year that I first ate arugula. I know, I know--how could I have made it so long without that natural peppery goodness? The alchemic interaction of sweet cucumber vinaigrette along with the peppery arugula and crunchy carrot strings. Oh and I forgot to add, the rich creaminess of the poached egg resting there rounds out the whole bit.

I have also been thinking about sweet potatoes and weird or unorthodox uses for them lately. Along with the joy brought by going home in July come thoughts of foods I love the most. Hush puppies are usually beaming crispy salty balls of goodness. The onion chunks studded beneath the surface punctuate the orbs, except I was wondering what would happen if you added sweet potato. Donald Link has some fascinating recipes in his "Real Cajun" cookbook, and I used a skeleton of his "Cast-Iron Hush Puppies" recipe to form my Honey Sweet Potato Hush puppies loaded with herbs giving them flashy colors as invigorating as the taste.

Sunny Carrot Arugula Salad
1 carrot, julienned
2 eggs, poached
2 C arugula
2 C baby spinach
1 cucumber peeled and deseeded
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
3 grinds black pepper

 Heat 1 quart canola oil in a heavy bottom skillet until it reaches 325 degrees. Drop a handful of julienned carrot into the oil and cook for about a minute, stirring so that it does not tangle into a ball. Remove when the carrot becomes crisp and just golden.

Place cucumber, mustard, oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until it is a smooth puree. Pour into a fine tipped squirt bottle.

Arrange arugula and spinach in bowls gently placing poached eggs on top and then carrot strings. Drizzle a few stripes of cucumber vinaigrette on top and enjoy.

Honey Sweet Potato Hush puppies

9 green onions
1 jalapeno, deseeded
1/4 C fresh parsley
1/4 C fresh thyme
1 small sweet potato peeled and grated
1 1/4 C yellow cornmeal
1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 T light amber honey
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 C half and half or buttermilk
1 egg

Use oil that is still hot from frying the carrot strings, just heat up to 350 degrees.

Combine first five ingredients and egg in food processor and pulse until ingredients are a bright shamrock green. Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then incorporate green ingredients, adding honey and sweet potato.

Drop large metal tablespoonfuls of mix in hot oil and cook about 3 minutes and flip cooking about 3 more minutes on the other side. Hush puppies should be milk chocolate brown and vibrant green with cheddar yellow specks inside. Enjoy while still warm, alongside salad.


Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks like a nice substantial salad with sunnyside eggs and crisped carrots. I like how the carrots look like a Spring time bird's nest.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

These hush puppies sound awesome! So pretty and orange. I am still getting so many sweet potatoes from my CSA, so these are perfect. And the salad looks yummy too.

Cleo Coyle said...

Love everything here. Not usually a fan of hush puppies, but I really like your combo of ingredients (esp the honey and sweet potato) and am now curious to try. Also never fried up carrot strings this way. *Fresh Local and Best* is right - with the egg placed so gently on the arugula and the strings on top, they do evoke a bird's nest. Lovely.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a wonderful salad! healthy and very enjoyable. I love your presentation.



sweetlife said...

A beautiful salad, with the addition of a perfect egg, OH i would inhale this, yum..I also like the idea of a hush puppy with sweet potaotes...great recipe


Ana Powell said...

Delicious and good looking salad ♥

Angie's Recipes said...

This looks so pretty and appetizing! A perfect sunny side up!
About the proofing baskets, I got them online.

Drick said...

very interesting, seems you been doing that to me a lot lately - nice dressing and to say I like the hushpuppies, well, you know it's the southern boy in 'em

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

I am loving this salad - so summery and bright and fresh! I really love salads with eggs like this - a nice burst of protein to make it more filling!

Vanessa said...

The combination of flavours here is fantastic! I just love vinegary salads with poached egg; yours looks perfect and is beautifully presented.

Mother Rimmy said...

Absolutely fantastic, fresh and colorful salad!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

Great looking salad! I am going to try those hush puppies - they sound amazing.

Devon said...

It looks like you put a lot of work into this salad and those are the best ones to eat.

redmenace said...

Arugula is one of my favorite things in the world! This looks delicious! Sometimes, light foods really shine.

Rick said...

Sweet potatoes are the best vegetable ever! Yours really looks like a 5 star restaurant. I want some!

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Something new to me again - hush puppies! Definitely one to try...I wonder how they got their name?

heidiannie said...

I was hoping you would share the hush puppy recipe! That sounds so delicious- I'm going out to buy some sweet potatoes just to give them a try.
The salad looks marvelous- you make food into a piece of art.

Hazel said...

This salad looks beautiful (especially the birds nest on top of the soft boiled egg) and contains many of my favourite ingrediens. The Hush Puppies sound amazing!! I must get on those soon.

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