Sunday, March 09, 2008

Frisee aux Lardons

Weekend Herb Blogging heads to Australia when the lovely Anna from Morsels and Musings is our gracious host and this week I find myself surrounded in a head of Frisée!

Frisée

Frisée is probably more recognized as "that spiky leaf" in salad mixes but it certainly is more than worthy to be admired in its own right.

frisée

Part of the Daisy family, Frisée is a close relative of endive/chicory - its familial bitter flavours developing as the leaves darken. If you prefer a more delicate flavour then seek out the inner leaves that are a pale yellow in colour.

To honour this leaf, I'll take inspiration from that classic French Bistro dish - Frisée aux Lardons - a dressed salad of frisée mixed with crisp bacon lardons and topped with a wonderfully gooey poached egg.

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Frisée aux Lardons

frisée, leaves separated, washed and dried
bacon lardons (substitute pancetta or speck)
poached eggs
Seeded Mustard Dressing:
4 parts olive oil
1 part sherry vinegar
seeded mustard, to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the dressing:
Place the olive oil, sherry vinegar, seeded mustard and a good grinding of salt and black pepper into a bowl - whisk until emulsified.

Prepare the lardons:
Lardons are just thick strips of bacon - I buy bacon in whole pieces and just cut them to size. You can buy them pre-made or use pancetta or speck if you prefer.

Dry-fry the bacon in a non-stick pan until crisp - they will release any excess fat as they cook. When done, dry them on kitchen paper to remove any excess fat.

Assemble the salad:

Place the frisée leaves into a bowl and drizzle over the dressing - toss them well to just coat them.

Put the dressed leaves onto a plate and then scatter over with the cooked lardons.

frisée salad

You can add a little extra dressing over the salad if desired.

Finally top the salad with a soft poached egg - if you are a bit unsure when it comes to poaching eggs, do what Nigella does and just use a shelled soft boiled egg - the end result is virtually the same.

frisee salad

When you slice through the egg, the warm yolk will spill out and join with the dressing to give it an almost creamy texture. This is excellent with slices of fresh baguette or even as the filling to a baguette roll - the bread must be fresh to be able to soak up those wonderful juices.

12 comments:

  1. Just delicious looking. I want to take a bite out of that last egg photo. (Note to self: must learn how to poach eggs so they look nice enough to be photographed.)

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  2. Mmm...I love frisee -- especially with bacon and egg. I think Jamie Oliver's recipe is the first one I tried. Yours sounds lovely, and the photos are excellent!

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  3. What a beautiful looking salad. Add my name to the list of those whose poached eggs taste great but look... not so hot!

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  4. This is just my favourite way to eat frisee - and you've done that bacon and egg just perfectly, too. In fact, please hand the whole lot over. Now!

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  5. Thanks Kalyn -I'm still not sure about poaching eggs but I've decided to just live with their rustic look

    Thanks Kelly - it's one of those classic combinations.

    Thanks Deborah - the taste is all that really matters in the end.

    Thanks Fork!

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  6. Frisee is one of my favorites, this salad looks fabulous.

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  7. This is one of my favorite salads in the world! Gorgeous photos...

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  8. Thanks Julie!

    Thanks Emiglia!

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  9. WOW! that looks so good, i am in love! love i say!:)

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  10. I love adding egg to salad, especially when the yolk hasn't set. There's something almost sinfully decadent about it. When my partner and I embarked on a 6 week vegetarian challenge (otherwise known as Lent), we found ourselves eating a ton of dinners that looked a lot like this one (minus the bacon)! Eventually, we had to move on, if only because of the cholesterol content of all those eggs!

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  11. Hi Neen - i loooove eggs and could over-indulge if given the opportunity but I've learnt not to because I break out in spots if I eat too many!

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