Frisee Salad With Lardons and Poached Egg
- Servings: 4.
This popular French bistro fare originated in the area surrounding Lyon, the city that many credit with having the best food in France.
Frisée, also called curly endive, is a lacy chicory that doesn't have chicory's full-throated bitterness. Instead its flavor is like its appearance -- delicate yet complex. The frisee is tossed with little sticks of bacon, referred to as lardons, and a dressing made by combining red wine vinegar with the warm fat left over from sautéing the bacon.
This salad is worth practicing your poaching as a perfectly cooked egg with firm whites but a still-runny yolk is the crowning finish to this salad, letting the egg yolk blend with the acidic dressing. This recipe uses a tea cup to put each egg into simmering poaching water but you can also use an egg poacher if you prefer.
- 1/2-pound frisee, about 6 cups, washed and completely dried
- 6 slices of thick-cut bacon
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons shallot, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Tear the frisée into large bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch sticks, also called lardons. In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon pieces until cooked but not completely crispy. Remove the skillet, with the bacon, from the heat.
- In another skillet or sauté pan, add an inch or so of warm water; this is where you will hold the eggs after they have been poached.
- To poach the eggs, half-fill a medium sauce pan with water and add the white vinegar. Bring to a very gentle simmer. One by one, break each egg into a teacup and then tipping the edge of the cup into the simmering water, slip the egg into the water and with a spoon, coax the egg white around the yolk. Do the same with the other three eggs and simmer them for about 1 1/2 minutes for the whites to be cooked and the yolks still runny. Immediately transfer the eggs with a slotted spoon to the pan of warm water where they can stay warm but not continue to cook.
- Bring the skillet with the bacon back to a moderate heat and add the shallots, stirring to cook for about 1 minute. Add the red wine vinegar and boil for a few seconds, stirring to combine with the shallots and hot bacon fat. Pour this hot dressing, with the bacon lardons, over the frisée and toss to coat.
- Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste; remember that the bacon may be salty so taste before adding more salt to the salad.
- Divide the frisée among four serving plates and top each with an egg.
- Serve immediately.