Frisee is a member of the endive/chicory family with finely curled leaves and a slightly bitter flavor. It is extremely popular in France, and truly one of the most elegant of the salad vegetables. As the plant reaches full size, the outer leaves are gathered up and tightly bound with an elastic band, excluding sunlight to its newly forming inner leaves. This makes the frisee more tender and gives it its singular two-tone appearance. Frisee is best served raw with a sharply acid dressing to offset the bitterness.
Radicchio, frisee and escarole store well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
Fill a large bowl or dishpan with cold water. Add greens and swirl around vigorously. All the dirt and sand will sink to the bottom. Lift greens out of basin and into a salad spinner or colander. Spin greens to dry or drain as best you can and dry on towels.
- 1 head frisee
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into small squares
- 4 fresh farm eggs
Wash the frisee in cold water, discarding the tough outer leaves. Soak the washed leaves in ice water for 10 minutes. (This causes the leaves to become extra crisp.) Drain and dry the leaves, and place in a salad bowl. Meanwhile, fry the bacon cubes in a hot skillet until crispy and drain on paper towels. Poach the eggs in very gently simmering boiling water until set but still liquid, about 4-5 minutes. It helps to break each egg into a tea cup and gently slide it in. It also helps to add a shot of vinegar to the water to help them stay cohesive.
- Mustard Vinaigrette dressing
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp finely sliced shallot (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Mix together all ingredients except oil in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil until an emulsion forms. Toss the frisee, bacon, and dressing together until well-coated, and serve in 4 seperate bowls, garnished with a poached egg and a sprinkle of fresh pepper. Note: many versioins of this recipe call for croutons. See following recipe for crouton criteria.
4-5 slices stale bread
1 clove garlic
salt & pepper
1 head Frisee
juice of 1 lemon
2 flat ancovy fillets
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Wash the frisee in cold water, discarding the tough outer leaves. Soak the washed leaves in ice water for 10 minutes. (This causes the leaves to become extra crisp.) Drain and dry the leaves, and place in a salad bowl. Meanwhile, to make the croutons, toast the bread in the toaster oven. (You can also dehydrate fresh bread for 20 minutes at 250 degrees if you don’t have stale.) When the bread is crisp, rub each side with the clove of garlic, and then chop or break the slices into cubes. Transfer them to a small mixing bowl and coat lightly with the oil, salt & pepper. Return them to the oven and continue to bake until the oil makes them crispy. Make the dressing by combining the lemon juice, anchovy, garlic, and oil in the food processor and blending until smooth and emulsified.
Check out this blog for a similar provencal version of this recipe.