FRISEE AND LARDON SALAD
When Andrew and I were living in NYC, we used to go on date nights. Occasionally we would splurge at a top restaurant. One cold December evening, we found ourselves at Eleven Madison Park. The restaurant was so beautifully decorated for the holidays, and even with the towering ceilings (it was in a former bank), it had such a cozy holiday feel. In addition, the food really made the night unforgettable! We were wowed by the warm chocolate souffle and this frisée and lardon salad, which I immediately recreated. We made a point of going there every December until several years later, they changed the menu to a NYC-themed, 20-course, tasting menu which I found a bit contrived -so we stopped going. But every winter I remember our holiday dinners, so I whip up this salad, and it never fails to bring me back to the lovely nights we had at Eleven Madison Park 🙂
RECIPE FOR FRISEE AND LARDON SALAD:
-¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
-2 teaspoons honey
-A pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
-1 large head (300 grams/10 oz) of frisée, roughly torn into bite-size pieces
-200 grams (7 oz) lardons or thick cut bacon cut crosswise into ¼ inch sticks
-4-6 large eggs
-⅓ cup (2 oz/56 grams) crumbled blue cheese (optional)
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Place the lid on tightly, and shake vigorously until ingredients are well combined.
- Most people use a poached egg for this salad, but I find poaching to be messy and difficult. IMO, a soft boiled egg works just as well here. To get the perfect runny egg, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Place the eggs in the water and set a timer for 6 ½ minutes. As soon as the timer goes off, pour out the water, and run the eggs under cold water for 30 seconds until they are cool enough to handle. In a pan over medium-high heat, cook the lardons until they are browned and crisp.
- Place the frisee in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette until the frisée is evenly coated. I usually start with about ½ the vinaigrette, toss, taste, and add more if needed.
- Place the dressed frisée on each plate. Remove the lardons from the pan with a slotted spoon and sprinkle on top of the frisée. Sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese (if using) and then place an egg on top. Add some freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of salt and an extra drizzle of dressing if you’d like.