Summer vegetable salad with a poached duck egg

Serves 4

I've loved creating interesting, main-course summery salads for many years now. Sometimes they're just made with ingredients felicitously thrown together from the fridge; and sometimes you need to put a bit more thought into it. When I worked in hotels years ago, a popular room-service menu item was the chef's salad – which, as you can imagine, was interpreted in many different ways.

If you're off your meat or fish, then this salad should be right up your street. You can vary the vegetables you use and even substitute the peas and broad beans with fresh cannellini or borlotti beans. I've used a free-range duck egg here, but feel free to use hen or bantam eggs.

A couple of generous handfuls of small salad and herb leaves
5-6 runner beans, thinly sliced on the angle
150-200g podded weight of broad beans
100g podded weight of peas
4 free-range duck eggs
A little wine or cider vinegar for poaching

For the dressing

1tbsp cider vinegar
1tsp Dijon mustard
3-4tbsp rapeseed oil

Cook the peas and beans separately in boiling salted water and refresh briefly under the cold tap. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and season. Poach the duck eggs in an egg poacher or by cracking the eggs into cups and then dropping them into a pan of simmering water with a tablespoon of wine vinegar for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.

To serve, toss the leaves and vegetables in the dressing and season, then arrange on serving plates or bowls and place the hot egg in the centre.

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