This frisée with bacon and egg couldn’t be easier. A frisée salad with thick-cut bacon and halved hard-boiled eggs is topped with a classic vinaigrette dressing and homemade seasoned sourdough croutons.
Maybe you take a cue from Paris bistros and let this simple yet spectacular salad be a staple on your home menu. Curly greens are dressed in a classic vinaigrette and topped with homemade croutons, bacon, and hard-boiled eggs. Satiating enough for supper. Light enough for lunch. And as subtly and slyly sophisticated as that scarf French women sling around their shoulders just so.–Angie Zoobkoff
Frisée with Bacon and Egg
For the croutons
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces day-old sourdough bread or baguette cut into 1/3-inch (1 cm) cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the frisée, bacon, and egg
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon cut into short, thin strips to make lardons
- 8 cups frisée lettuce* dandelion greens, or chopped escarole
- 4 large hard-boiled eggs shelled and halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Make the croutons
- In a small skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. When it foams, add the bread and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
- The croutons will crisp as they cool.
Make the vinaigrette
- In a medium bowl, combine the shallot, salt, and vinegar and set aside to 10 minutes to take the edge off the shallot.
- Stir in the mustard and then, whisking constantly, slowly pour in the oil, stirring continuously to create an emulsion. Sprinkle generously with pepper.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The dressing can be prepared a few hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Leftover vinaigrette keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge, in a glass jar with a tight lid.)
Make the salad
- In a medium skillet set over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring frequently, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Scoop into a bowl and keep the rendered fat for another use.
- In a large bowl, dress the frisée with 1/4 cup vinaigrette. Divide the frisée among salad plates, forming nests. Top with the halved eggs and sprinkle with the bacon strips, 1 cup croutons, and chives.
*What can I substitute for frisée in my salad?Frisee is a feathery lettuce that gives a salad presence, but it can sometimes be difficult to find, let alone on hand in your refrigerator when you're salad hangry. You may not get the exact texture and mildly bitter taste of frisée when you substitute another lettuce, but you do have options. Curly endive is the closest, genetically speaking, but might be just as hard to find. Chicory has a bitterness similar to frisée but can be quite a bit stronger, so diffuse it with other, milder, leaves. Arugula is always a good substitute, too. More peppery than bitter, it still has a enough of a bite to stand up to bacon and eggs.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This frisée with bacon and egg salad hits all of the right notes and gives you lots of options. The vinaigrette is a classic—I used red wine vinegar to boost the acid component but white wine vinegar would be good too. I did add some fresh tarragon that I had on hand to the dressing, and a handful of shaved asparagus to the greens.
The eggs at 7 minutes were just a little firmer than what I would consider ideal. I'll go for 6 minutes. But they peeled perfectly and the yolk was still a shimmering pool of gold—not quite runny.
Served with some good bread bread, a little cheese, and a nice crisp glass of white wine, this would be a lovely starter or light lunch.
There are SO many things to love about this salad of frisée with bacon and egg. Don't be put off by its multiple elements that makes it look longer and more complicated than it actually is. If you've ever enjoyed a salad like this in a bistro in France, this will instantly transport you back there.
The revelation for me, here, though, was the vinaigrette. Tastes exactly like my favorite French store-bought (shhh!) salad dressing (the one I always buy when I'm in France because I've never been quite sure how to replicate it).
For three servings of salad we used 1/3 cup dressing—might have been a little heavy handed there but hey, when you find a recipe for your favorite salad dressing EVER, you get excited! I couldn't find chicory or frisée so I used mixed salad leaves. (I KNOW, not the same, but frisée is sometimes really hard to find.)
I'll be making this dish year-round—it's the ultimate "big salad" meal. I feel like for 4 people that's a reasonable amount of salad leaves (with not enough "stuff"on top) but it's way too much for two (with perhaps too much "stuff" on each plate. This served three people (with an extra egg) perfectly for lunch.
Originally published September 29, 2018