Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs; the art of poaching eggs

This isn’t really about the recipe….

It’s just a simple salad.

It’s about poaching the eggs.

Poaching eggs isn’t at all difficult: heat water to boiling, drop in the eggs and wait.

But I normally do it in a skillet because there’s more room. Sometimes the egg hits the bottom of the skillet and it sticks a bit. There’s always egg-y residue in the water and the eggs aren’t always (read rarely) perfectly shaped.

A few weeks ago I was watching a cooking show and the chef poached eggs using cling film.

Brilliant idea, I thought….

So I tried it.

Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 3oz (90gr) fresh spinach
  • 4 eggs, poached
  • 3 slices Prosciutto or other dry-cured ham, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbs Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs good olive oil

Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs


  • Wash spinach if necessary. Tear, if needed, and put into a salad bowl.
  • Sauté Prosciutto in 2 tsp olive oil until crisp
  • Whisk together vinegar and mustard.
  • Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly until vinaigrette is thick and creamy.
  • Add about half to the spinach and toss well to coat – tongs work well. Add more to taste.
  • Arrange on 2 plates.
  • Add the Prosciutto, eggs and serve.
  • To poach eggs the traditional way:
  • Fill a medium skillet with water. The water should be at least 1 1/2 inches deep.
  • Heat water to boiling over medium-high heat.
  • When water is softly boiling add eggs one at a time.
  • With regular spoon scoop some hot water over tops of eggs. Poach for 2 – 4 minutes or until white is set but yolk is still very soft. (Or hard, as you like…)
  • Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and serve

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Turns out I should have been paying closer attention….

Or, perhaps, checked online before I tried it.

I was making dinner at the time, and the cooking show was background noise, but, still, it seemed like such a simple idea….

And it is a simple idea:

Lightly oil cling film and put it in a cup or ramekin.


Add the egg and tie the film at the top making a little parcel.

I used some kitchen string thinking I wanted something longer to hold on to, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Drop the parcel in boiling water and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, depending on how you want your egg.

Open the film and you have a perfectly shaped, perfectly poached egg.

Easy, huh?

Except I missed the part about lightly oiling the film and my eggs stuck. You can tell from the photo, right?

I was able to get them free of the film with a spoon and a bit of care, but they didn’t fall into my hand perfectly like they should.


I do think it’s a brilliant idea and will be doing it again – with more success the next time (I hope).

Here’s a 15 second video of Jamie Oliver showing how to do it – the right way.

Last update on February 1, 2016

4 thoughts on “Spinach Salad with Poached Eggs; the art of poaching eggs”

  1. I wonder how that would work with a little clarified butter. I’m not a big oil and eggs fan, but love the taste of eggs scrambled or fried in butter. In the meantime, the salad looks wonderful but the last time I tried to buy prosciutto, it was $7.99 for a 4 oz package O_o

  2. What an interesting way to cook poached eggs! I wonder if that was Jamie’s original idea…would not be surprised! We always add a splash of white vinegar to the water which helps keep the egg white in a nice shape, and cook 4 minutes – they turn out perfect in shape and softness every time.

  3. nightsmusic. I’m sure butter would work – probably better lol. Use bacon – we don’t have good bacon….

    Ina, I poach them the same way – I just thought this was a great idea and had to try….

    Kate, I don’t use my micro nearly enough – great for morning oats, though….

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