Frisee Salad With Lardons and Poached Egg

Frisee Salad With Lardons and Poached Egg

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. Tear the frisée into large bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Divide the frisée among four serving plates and top each with an egg.
  8. Serve immediately.





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