Poached egg salad with limehairy mayonnaise

What a great name! Limehairy is also known as hoary basil or perennial basil and has a delicious basilly aroma and pretty flowers – and bees love it too! This salad has simple ingredients but they come together so wonderfully, with a spicy kick from the leaves, creaminess from the eggs and vibrant herby notes…


Fresh from the garden: iceberg lettuce, eggs, limehairy, landcress, salad burnet, lemon, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa (mayonnaise based on a Delia Smith recipe)
Serves: 4 or 24 tastes



  • Medium frying pan
  • Bowls – large, 4 small
  • Draining spoon
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel
  • Scales
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Measuring jug
  • Chopping board and knife, scissors
  • Citrus juicer
  • Stick blender & its cup
  • Serving plates





  • 4 eggs

For the limehairy mayonnaise:

  • A small handful of limehairy leaves
  • A large handful landcress
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
  • 120ml rice bran oil
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly milled black pepper

To serve:

  • A small head iceberg lettuce
  • A handful salad burnet

Salad burnet

What to do:
For the salad:

  • Separate out the iceberg leaves over the sink and rinse under the tap. Fill up a big bowl with cold water & wash the iceberg leaves in several changes of water. Spin dry.
  • Lay out the tea towel and line it with kitchen paper. Spread the salad leaves over the paper and roll the whole lot up like a log. Keep the rolled parcel of leaves in the fridge until needed.
  • Wash and spin dry the burnet and strip off the leaves, discarding the stalks. Wrap them carefully in paper towel and keep them in the fridge with the lettuce.

For the mayonnaise:

  • Wash, spin dry and separate off the landcress leaves and discard the stalks into the compost.  Wash &spin dry the limehairy leaves.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half to yield ½ teaspoon lemon juice. Peel the garlic clove.
  • Now break the extra egg into the cup of the stock blender, add the salt, garlic, mustard powder and a few twists of freshly milled black pepper, then blitz to blend these together.
  • Now measure the oils into the jug, mix well with a fork and ask a helper to pour it in a thin trickle into the cup whilst it’s blending. When all the oil is in, add the vinegar, lemon juice, landcress and limehairy leaves, then blend again until the leaves are quite finely chopped.

To poach the eggs:

  • Fill a medium-sized frying pan with water to a depth of approximately 4cm, heat it up to the boil, then lower the heat it to a bare simmer.
  • Then break the 4 eggs into the four separate small bowls taking care not to break the yolks and removing any shell with your fingertips. Then lower them, one at a time, into the simmering water and let them cook together, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Fill a large bowl with cold water.
  • Then, use a draining spoon to lift them from the water and transfer them to the bowl of cold water, until you are ready to use them.

To serve:

  • Bring the lettuce out of the fridge, gently slice up the leaves and arrange the leaves on each plate.
  • Holding a clean tea towel in one hand, scoop up an egg with the slotted spoon and carefully pat dry. Arrange a poached egg in the centre of each salad plate, drizzle some of the mayonnaise over the top of each salad, followed by a sprinkle of the burnet leaves.
Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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