frisee and lardon salad with a poached egg

Frisee6I remember the first time I had a frisee and lardon salad – it was at a bistro in Paris during my sister and my first trip alone to Paris several years ago. Upon arriving in Paris, we immediately changed into dresses and freshened up after the long flight, and headed out to a bistro in the second arrondissement that my sister had heard about. We started off with oysters, which were presented beautifully in the typical bistro fashion – perched on crush ice in a large silver platter, and served with a mignonette sauce. We then moved on to a salad course, and shared the frisee and lardon salad. It was exquisite – the salty, smokiness of the bacon was a delicious contrast to the slightly bitter frisee, and it was all topped off with an incredible mustard and shallot vinaigrette, which married with the lovely yellow yolk from the poached egg so beautifully.

I started to make this salad at home, and it’s one of my go-tos on busy weeknights.  I buy a large ciabatta roll from the bakery at my grocery store. I cut it into cubes, toss with olive oil and bake to create croutons {which are not traditionally included in this salad, but I love the texture they add}. After cooking off some thick cut strips of bacon for the lardons, I make a vinaigrette with a touch of the bacon fat, champagne vinegar for acidity, dijon mustard and shallots. Here, for the greens, I used a mache mix {which included some radicchio and watercress} and frisee. Finally, a perfectly poached egg on top adds the perfect amount of protein and naturally delicious sauce. This recipe couldn’t be easier, and makes me feel transported back to a Parisian bistro whenever I have it.

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Recipe

  • 1 medium-sized ciabatta sandwich roll {or 1/2 larger ciabatta loaf}
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound thick cut bacon
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon champagne {or white wine} vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 2 eggs {as fresh as possible}

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut ciabatta into 1 inch cubes.  Place ciabatta cubes on foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat cubes evenly.  Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Cut bacon into 1/2 inch strips. Place strips in skillet and cook over medium high heat until bacon is crispy and browned. Remove from skillet and place on paper towel lined plate to drain. Drain off bacon fat from skillet if excessive {although you should leave about 1 tablespoon}. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and reduce heat to medium.  Add shallots and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add wine and champagne vinegar, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add dijon mustard and whisk to combine.  Cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Place mache and frisee into serving bowl. Scatter croutons, cooked bacon and Parmesan shards on top.  Spoon dressing over salad and toss to combine thoroughly. Plate onto individual serving plates.

In a large saucepan, heat water until it just reaches a simmer {very small bubbles; if you hit a rolling boil, it’s too hot}. Add white wine vinegar. Crack egg into a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir water in slow, circular motion to create a whirlpool {it doesn’t need to be done at a violent speed}. Carefully slide egg into water in the center of the whirlpool. Cook for exactly 3 1/2 minutes, watching temperature of the water to ensure it remains at the same simmer {not boiling, but with little bubbles}. Using a slotted spoon, remove egg from water to remove all liquid, and then place on top of salad. Repeat with second egg and then serve immediately.

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25 Responses to frisee and lardon salad with a poached egg

  1. This is definitely one of my favorite salads as well, though I often do it with an egg fried in brown butter instead of poached (because my egg-poaching skills are questionable!)

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha I used to feel the same way. Some tips I have picked up over the years: (i) always use incredibly fresh eggs (I find that when I don’t, the whites pull apart more frequently in the water, (ii) do not go above a very gentle simmer (I always used to boil, which is just too hot and not really “poaching”), and (iii) cook for exactly 3.5 minutes. I do hope these tips help! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. chef mimi says:

    Beautiful photos and salade. I had my first in Lyons! To die for…

  3. Love the combination of salad and poached egg – beautiful!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Claudia! This has to be one of my favorite salads on the planet. You can’t really beat it when you want something quick and not too heavy (although, it does involve bacon). Thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by! xoxo

  4. Darya says:

    One of my favorite salads! Délicieux !

  5. andmorefood says:

    this really is quintessentially french!

  6. I love this salad and really love that you added some croutons. This is pretty much my favorite salad, it has everything, wonderful contrasting tastes and textures. So delicious!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Suzanne for your kind words, as always! I agree – there is really everything you need for a good salad here – protein, carbs, bacon and cheese! 🙂 Not the healthiest salad on the planet, but a salad nonetheless! 🙂 xoxo

  7. Francesca says:

    This is really a gorgeous salad and totally my kind of food. The combination of bacon and eggs is a winner in my book.

  8. A very good salad! You poached the egg perfectly. I like how the yolk lazily meander out of the center.

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you so much! And thanks for stopping by! Poaching eggs is something that I have failed at countless times, but I think I may finally have perfected my technique, thankfully! xoxo

  9. Pingback: Mastering the Poached Egg… | Reflections of a Foodie

  10. chardrap says:

    Your description of a how to cook a poached egg has finally made realise how wrong I have been going about it! Thanks to your post I have now mastered it after many years of epic fails!! I have mentioned in my latest blog post – http://reflectionsofafoodie.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/mastering-the-poached-egg/
    so thank you! 🙂

  11. Yum, Lindsay! This looks so delicious and I love how the yolk of the poached egg creates a kind of silky sauce. And isn’t it wonderful how food can transport you to and back to places? Magic =)

    Thanks as always for sharing, love! xo!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Strangely, growing up I hated egg yolks, and if I ever had a fried egg, I would eat the whites only and leave the gooey yolk center. But now, I just adore that gorgeous, silky sauce, and combined with this shallot/mustard dressing, it is just heaven. Hope you are doing well love! xoxo

  12. How have I never been to your beautiful blog? Everything looks so delicious!! So glad to have found it. 🙂

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Laicie, and for stopping by! I am so thrilled to have discovered your blog as well – how stunningly gorgeous! I love that you just made a dish with figs as well – absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to see what you post next. 🙂 xoxo

  13. This may be my perfect salad, thank you for introducing me to it!

    xo,
    Danie

    http://www.danienordahl.com

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