Frisée Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing and Poached Eggs

(serves 4)

  • 1 large head frisée (aka, curly endive or curly chicory)
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon (about 8 slices)
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 a small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • the leaves from 5 or 6 sprigs of flat parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • neutral flavored oil, such as grape seed, as needed
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 slices of toasted bread, cut into triangles and kept warm

Discard any damaged leaves from the frisée, then break it apart and wash it by submerging it in a large bowl of cold water, swirling it to loosen the dirt from the leaves, and then lifting them out of the water (don’t pour the water and frisée out together or the dirt will just get back on the greens). If necessary, repeat. Dry the frisée in a salad spinner, break it into bite sized pieces and set aside in a large bowl.

Cut the bacon into pieces about 1/3 inch wide. Heat a skillet and saute the pieces until they turn golden brown. Lift the bacon pieces out of the hot grease and drain them on a paper towel. Pour the hot bacon grease into pyrex measuring cup. Leave the bacon and bacon fat in a warm spot.

To poach the eggs, bring two or three inches of water to a simmer in wide pot or skillet. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water. Crack the eggs one by one into a small bowl, sliding each egg into the barely simmering water, trying to keep the whites as compact as possible. Poach for three or four minutes, just until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny.

While the eggs are cooking, whisk together the shallot, garlic, parsley, mustards, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of the warm bacon fat. If you don’t have 5 tablespoons of bacon fat, whisk in enough oil to make up the difference. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.

If the salad dressing has cooled too much, pour it back into the bacon pan to reheat for a minute or two. Pour the hot dressing over the washed and dried frisée and toss well. Divide the greens between four plates. Top each plate of greens with one well drained poached egg. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the salads, place two triangles of toast on each plate and serve immediately.