By now you probably know that I’m head over heels for eggs. So when I saw big, white, farm-fresh duck eggs at the farmers market, I couldn’t resist. They just dwarf chicken eggs, they’re so big.
What better way to showcase these beauties than with the classic French salad?
Frisée aux Lardons
¼ pound bacon, cut into 1½×¼×¼-inch strips
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 duck eggs
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 medium head frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
Fleur de sel
Freshly ground black pepper
Add enough water to a large, heavy sauté pan to come to a depth of 1 inch. Heat over medium heat to a bare simmer. Heat a small, heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bacon and fry, tossing frequently, for 7 to 8 minutes, or until rendered.
Meanwhile, crack each egg into its own ramekin. Add the white vinegar and a generous pinch of kosher salt to the pan of water. Gently slip each egg from its ramekin into the barely simmering water and poach for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the desired doneness. Using a wire skimmer, remove the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate and drain.
When the bacon is rendered, remove it to a plate. Add the shallot to the pan and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the oil, red wine vinegar, and mustard. Immediately toss together the frisée, bacon, and dressing in a large bowl and season to taste with fleur de sel and pepper. Arrange the salad on individual plates, top each with an egg, and serve immediately.
Serves 2 as a main course. Narrow strips of bacon like the ones used in this recipe are known as lardons. Pepper bacon is a fantastic choice here. If you cannot find duck eggs, use chicken eggs instead; poaching time is 2 to 3 minutes for large ones. The fresher the eggs, the better they will hold their shape during poaching. Maintain the water at a bare simmer throughout the poaching time for the best results. A baguette is the perfect accompaniment to this salad.