The salad course that I’m preparing for the 2012 Men who Cook is a classic French Frisee salad with lardons. Lardons is just a fancy French word for strips of bacon. The salad is also topped with a soft boiled egg. Who can’t resist a salad a salad that combines both bacon and eggs. I know I can’t.
Only one problem. Frisee can be difficult to find, and I didn’t take into account that fact as I was preparing the menu. If this weren’t the dead of winter, I’m sure I could could wander down to the local farmers market and pick up a bunch of Frisee. Frisee is a bitter, light and frilly lettuce found in France and other moderate climates. It’s part of the endive family and is closely related in taste to Radicchio. If I can’t scrounge up Frisee, I’ll be using slightly bitter spring greens like the ones in the picture above.
The dish is deceptively simple, probably the hardest part is soft boiling the egg. But if you’ve mastered that, then this salad will be a breeze.
Recipe after the break:
Frisee Salad with Poached Egg and Lardons
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 heads frisee, pale inner leaves only, rinsed and drained well
- 4 large eggs
Fry bacon pieces over medium high heat until crisp (6-7 minutes). Drain and blot on paper towel lined plate.
In a bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. Tear frisee into bite sized pieces. Add the frisee and bacon to the bowl and toss to coat. Divide salad among four individual salad plates.
Bring a frying pan with 1 inch of water just to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Break an egg into a small bowl and slide egg into the water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Gently spoon the simmering water over the eggs and allow to cook for 3 minutes. They should be just opaque and a thin film forming over the yolks.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer egg to a salad, gently sliding it into place. Season with ground pepper. Serve at once.