This Kale Salad with Feta, Garlic Panko Crumbs and Fried Slow Poached Egg is seriously addicting.
Recently, I clicked on a link for Mei Mei’s food truck in Boston and discovered their Amazing Kale Salad menu item. I don’t even know how I ended up on their site, but that kale salad description intrigued me – their kale salad is topped with not only a slow poached egg that’s then fried, but it’s served with crunchy garlic panko crumbs and feta cheese.
I invested in a circulator earlier this year so I could experiment with a cooking technique called sous vide. Although I’ve tried making fish, vegetables, and some meats using this method, I’ve found myself making batch after batch of sous vide poached eggs. The boys have been going through dozens of eggs this summer, eating 2-3 eggs at a time with their Refried Bean Breakfast Bowl.
So, although I’ve never eaten off the Mei Mei food truck, I tried to recreate what I thought this salad might be like, with a few twists of my own. Since tomatoes are in season, I added some fresh chopped tomatoes as well as some red onions. Another time, I used scallions in place of onions, and also added kalamata olives. Since I had a batch of sous vide poached eggs in my refrigerator, it was easy for me to make the fried slow poached egg. I know most people don’t own a circulator, so if you want to try this salad with an egg on top, just use a regular poached or fried egg.
This kale salad is seriously addicting in a good way. I’ve made it at least 4-5 times in the past few weeks. The garlic panko crumbs are key, adding a nice crunchy texture. You can serve this salad to a crowd and leave off the fried slow-poached egg (that’s what I did when I made this for our family). When served with a poached egg, it makes a great meatless meal – I could eat this at least several times a week.
After making this salad, I found a video of one of the owners of Mei Mei making their kale salad. Apparently, they massage the kale (lacinato is their favorite – I used a red tinged curly kale from our farmer’s market) with the dressing to soften it before topping it with other ingredients. Just for kicks, I made this kale salad based on their technique and ingredients (no tomato or onion). The texture of the kale is definitely silkier, so if that’s what you prefer, by all means massage your kale.
I actually preferred the un-massaged kale version. Let me know which version you like.
- 8 cups kale leaves, torn into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced, depending on how garlicky you like it
- ¾ cup gluten-free panko crumbs (I used Ian's)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced or 1-2 scallions, chopped
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (~ ¾ cup)
- 16 kalamata olives, pitted
- 4 slow poached eggs that have been briefly fried in a little oil
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Place kale in a large salad bowl. Whisk together Salad Dressing.
- To make Garlic Panko Crumbs, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and panko crumbs; saute until light brown. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Set aside.
- Top kale with chopped tomato, onion, and feta cheese. Sprinkle with Garlic Panko Crumbs. Drizzle with some of the Salad Dressing and toss lightly. Season with fresh ground black pepper.
- Divide kale among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with some chopped tomato, onion, feta cheese and olives. Carefully place a fried slow-poached egg on top of each bowl. Sprinkle with Garlic Panko Crumbs. Serve dressing on the side, along with a pepper grinder.