Along with the rest of the nation, we watched the Springboks’ glorious World Cup rugby win last weekend. The café was buzzing, the game live on our big screen (courtesy of the Knysna Film Festival). The kitchen and bakery were deserted as the excitement grew, all attention glued to the screen (punctuated with the odd bite of îdp burger or pissabianca). Together, we sang and danced to “Shosholoza”.
Green & Gold
In celebration we’d like to share some Green & Gold love of our own. This delicious spinach and poached egg salad from chef Liezie’s book, île de païn – anytime, is hearty, tangy with mustard bite and satisfying enough for even the hungriest rugby player.
Warm Spinach Salad with Poached Egg & Mushrooms
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
¾ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
350g cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
4 handfuls baby spinach leaves
4 slices sourdough toast
4 free-range eggs, poached to serve
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook and stir the onion for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the white and brown sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
- Add the vinegar and let the mixture bubble for 2-3 minutes to reduce and caramelise a bit.
- Add the mustard, salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the olive oil in a thin stream while the motor is running to form an emulsion. (You can also use a hand-blender). Set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a medium-sized frying pan until hot. Add the mushrooms, season lightly and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown.
- Add the crème fraîche and stir until smooth and creamy. Keep warm.
- To assemble, toss the baby spinach leaves with most of the warm vinaigrette in a mixing bowl to distribute the dressing evenly.
- Place a good handful of dressed spinach on each slice of toast. Carefully place a soft poached egg on top, and finally a generous helping of the mushrooms. (Feel free to add a slice or two of bacon or grilled chorizo!)
Chef ‘s tip
Cremini mushrooms are like brown mushrooms but with a more intense flavour. You could substitute Portobello or shiitake, but normal white mushrooms just don’t have enough flavour.
Want to try out more of chef Liezie’s recipes at home? Her new book “île de païn – anytime” reveals insider tips, is full of our chef’s favourite recipes and is illustrated with mouthwatering visuals. Pick up your copy at the café or order online.