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  • Spinach Salad With 5-Minute Egg and Parmesan Croutons

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  • 6 eggs, at room temperature (see note)
    1 pound fresh spinach, washed, dried, with tough stems removed, broken into bite-sized pieces
    1 cup pitted black olives
    3 strips crisp-fried bacon, crumbled
    Tarragon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
    Jan's House Croutons (see related recipe)
    Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
    Gently place the eggs into a pan of simmering water and cook for exactly 5 minutes (do not let water stop simmering). Remove from heat, drain carefully (don't crack eggs), then fill pan with cold water and let eggs cool completely. When cold, gently peel eggs.
    Place the spinach leaves in a large salad bowl, along with the olives and bacon. Toss with some of the vinaigrette, then arrange on 6 dinner plates. Place a handful of the croutons in center of each salad. Lay an egg on top of each portion, drizzle a small amount of vinaigrette over each egg and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
    Makes 6 servings.
    TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE: In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 3 tablespoons red- or white-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, 1/8 teaspoon powdered savory and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper; blend well with a wire whisk. Add 3/4 cup oil in a slow stream, whisking continuously, until dressing is thick and blended. Adjust seasonings and set dressing aside. If making dressing ahead of time, refrigerate it. Makes 11/4 cups dressing.
    NOTE: To make sure you end up with beautifully peeled eggs, avoid just-purchased eggs. If eggs are extremely fresh, white portions usually stick to shell when peeled.
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