Bistro Salad: Frisee w/ Lardons & Poached Egg
This is a favorite salad of mine, and I order it in a French restaurant whenever I see it on a menu.
But it can be tricky to make at home, because you want to serve the dressing and poached egg WARM, therefore, you have to move quickly.
There is nothing worse than dining out and having a cold poached egg on top of the dish (this means the egg was cooked hours ago). You want the oozing yolk to be nice and warm to mop up with your crouton or toast. Yum.
Lardons are nothing but bacon that has been cut into matchsticks. (See, that was an easy French lesson).
Frisee is curly chicory and quite bitter, but it stands up beautifully to hot dressings and perfect in this traditional French salad.
Frisee Salad w/ Lardons and Poached Eggs: (makes 2 large salads)
½ pound frisée (French curly endive)
6 slices slab bacon or thick-cut bacon, cut into thin pieces (like matchsticks)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (for poaching the eggs)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
fleur de sel
2 slices of good bread, drizzled w/ olive oil and toasted
In a heavy skillet, cook the bacon pieces until crispy and remove to paper towels to blot. Save the bacon grease in the skillet please.
Arrange the frisee on your plates so you are ready to go. You have to be ready to serve and eat this salad!
Add the crispy lardons to the tops of the lettuces on the plates.
Boil water in a saucepan w/ the white vinegar and bring to a boil. Poach your eggs for 2 minutes for a runny yolk (3 minutes for a firm yolk).
While the eggs are poaching, cook the chopped shallot in the bacon grease for 1 minute and deglaze the pan with the 3 tbsp red wine vinegar for 5 seconds. Don't stand too close to the pan or you will get a nice vinegar vapor facial!
Voila! This hot mess is your dressing. Immediately pour the shallot vinegar mixture over the 2 salads. Top with the warm poached egg and a piece of olive oil toast (or crouton of your choice).