Saturday, April 18, 2009

Duck Eggs

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
Printable Recipe

¼ pound bacon, cut into 1½×¼×¼-inch strips
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Kosher salt
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.


Heidi Leon Monges said...

Hi Lucy,
this egg salad looks perfect, and I'm sure it is, no wonder why Classic french dishes are always so good, even thought I haven't try duck eggs. Perhaps after reading your post I will, perhaps ;-)

ps. I love your pic on the kitchen, you are a true kitchen queen a la Nigella!!!

Unknown said...

Hi Lucy,

I came upon your post while searching "duck eggs". I bought some real lovelys at the Portland Farmer's Market yesterday, and like many, have never eaten duck eggs before. I am going right out to get the ingredients for your salad, and I am so pleased to see that you live in Vancouver, WA as well!

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