Frisee Salad With Bacon and Poached Egg

4 servings

This is a classic French Bistro “salad” that can really be eaten any time of the day- brunch, lunch,  dinner or late night supper. The French use frisee- which i find a little boring and too bitter- so mix it up with some other greens. The egg and the bacon make it very rich and the bitter greens and sharp vinaigrette help balance that richness. I find it hard to find slab bacon- to make the traditional French lardons-so i  usually use extra thick bacon.

For the salad

2  heads of frisee, cored, rinsed, spun dry, and torn into bit-sized pieces

4 cups leafy greens, rinsed, spun dry, and torn as above

6 slices thick bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces

4 eggs- room temp

juice of half a lemon

For the vinaigrette

rendered bacon fat and olive oil to yield about 5 T total

1 t whole grain mustard

1 t dijon mustard

2 T red wine vinegar

kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cook the bacon pieces until crispy- about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.

Pour the bacon fat into a mixing bowl and add enough olive oil to make it about 5 Tablespoons. In another small bowl put the mustards, vinegar and a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper- whisk it all up.

Gently pour the bacon/oil into the vinegar- whisking all the while until smooth. Taste for acid and seasoning. Set aside.

Get the poaching water ready. Fill a deep saute pan-  straight sides works best- with 3 inches or so with water- add the  lemon juice (helps keeps the whites from breaking up) and put stove on high heat. Crack the eggs into little individual cups.

At this point I like to assemble the salad so the poached egg can go on top right before serving.

In a large salad bowl toss the greens with the vinaigrette- Divide the greens onto 4 plates. Sprinkle the lardons on each salad.

When the water is at a rolling boil, with the bowl just touching the water slide the eggs in. Repeat with the rest of the eggs. Turn down heat a little- so it’s just simmering. Cook for about 4 minutes.

When the eggs are done- (whites set and yolks still runny)remove from the water with a slotted spoon- trimming off any scrappy egg whites- and place on top of the salad. Serve with some crusty french bread.

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