Salade Frisée aux Lardons

Photo by Robert P.

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    medium heads frisée, about 1/4 pound

  • Frisee is a type of chicory used for salad.

  • 1

    tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2

    teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2

    teaspoon sherry vinegar

  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1

    teaspoon minced shallot

  • 2

    slices extra thick bacon

  • distilled white vinegar

  • 2

    large eggs—the fresher, the better

Directions

Prepare the frisée. Rinse the heads thoroughly. Tear enough of it for two salads into smallish bites and spin dry or pat dry with paper towels. You won’t use all of your frisée, and that’s fine—the rest can be added to mixed greens to liven up another salad. Regarding bite sizes, no single piece of frisée should be so large that you wonder how you’ll get it in your mouth. I hate seeing big shards of greenery in a salad that force you to cut them up or attempt to cram them whole into your gob, smearing dressing all over your chin. Seriously. Place washed and dried frisée in a salad bowl and set aside. Prepare the vinaigrette. Combine olive oil, mustard and sherry vinegar in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until emulsified. Whisk in shallot and set aside. Prepare the lardons. Slice bacon crosswise into 1/3-inch wide strips. Place in a single layer in a cold, large nonstick fry pan. Cook over medium heat, turning frequently, until crisp. Drain on paper toweling. Assemble the salad. Toss frisée with vinaigrette. Divide between two salad plates. Sprinkle some of the lardons over the salads—use your eye here to determine a good amount. Whatever is left is for the cook to nibble on while poaching the eggs. Poach the eggs. Do this at the very last, so the eggs are still warm when served. Again, use very fresh eggs—these poach best. Break the eggs into individual ramekins or small bowls (this will give you much better control than if you try to show off and pour them directly from the cracked egg shells). Heat about 1 inch of water in a medium nonstick skillet over medium flame. Do NOT bring the water to a boil. You don’t even want it to truly simmer—you just want it hot. When bubbles begin to coat the bottom of the pan, reduce heat to low. Add a splash of vinegar to the pan. The acid helps hold the eggs together. Using a spoon, stir the water in the pan around the edges to create a gentle whirlpool in the center. Holding the ramekin close to the surface of the water, pour an egg into the center of the whirlpool. Let the egg cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds. If you get any flyaway tendrils of egg white, gently push them back toward the egg with a spoon. Cook the egg until just set, 3 to 4 minutes (4 worked best for me). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the egg to a folded paper towel on a plate. (If the egg is sticking to the pan, gently free it with a spatula.) Cook the second egg and transfer to its own folded paper towel. Serve the salads. Carefully lift each egg in turn from its paper towel and place it atop a salad. This is a total hands-on step. Season with a little salt and pepper.

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