Poached egg salad with peas and basil mayo

We love making mayonnaise at Bondi and always talk about the difference in flavour from the ready-bought stuff! This salad is wonderful – creamy from the mayo and egg yolk but also tangy from the dressed lettuce – and it’s so worth fetching some fresh peas to pod as they really pop in your mouth!


Fresh from the garden: lettuce, eggs, peas, basil, salad burnet, lemon, garlic
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 4 at home or 24 tastes


  • Small saucepan
  • Colander
  • Medium high-sided frying pan
  • Bowls – 3 large, at least 4 small
  • Salad spinner
  • Paper towel & tea towel
  • Citrus juicer
  • Chopping boards and knives, scissors
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Stick blender & its cup
  • Measuring jug, fork
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving plates




  • A handful of fresh peas in the shell
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 large handfuls of lettuce
  • A handful salad burnet

For the basil mayonnaise:

  • A small branch of basil leaves
  • 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

What to do:

For the salad:

  • Fill the small saucepan up with water and set it to boil. Pod the peas and have ready a big bowl of cold water. When the water is boiling, add the podded peas and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh in the bowl of cold water. Drain and reserve.
  • Separate out the lettuce 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, looking for any dirt in the bottom of the bowl. Spin dry in small batches.
  • 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 basil leaves and discard the stalks into the compost.
  • Cut the lemon in half and squeeze one half to yield ½ teaspoon lemon juice. Peel the garlic clove and finely slice.
  • Now break the egg into the cup of the stock blender, add the salt, garlic, mustard powder and a few twists of freshly milled black pepper, thenblitz 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 and basil 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 5cm, 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 the slotted 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 if needed and put into a big mixing bowl. Drizzle a teaspoon each of olive oil and white wine vinegar over the leaves with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper, and turn gently to combine.
  • Arrange the leaves on each serving plate.
  • Holding a clean tea towel in one hand, scoop up an egg with the slotted spoon and carefully drain of water. 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 peas and then the salad burnet leaves.
  • Serve.

Notes:Why do we add a trickle of oil at first into the egg mixture of the mayonnaise? Why shouldn’t we break the eggs when poaching them? What is salad burnet and what does it smell like?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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