Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Salade Lyonnaise

Now that it is distinctly getting to be salad weather, I'm pulling out some of my old stand-by recipes to help me get through the steamy summer months. In checking out the New York Times website earlier this week, my eye was drawn to Mark Bittman's Minimalist column and his Salade Lyonnaise. I've gotten several good recipes from him and enjoy reading about how he got to his end result, so I thought I'd try something new this week.

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of frisée. It isn't that I don't like the taste but, rather, that it is always the odd one out in the salad bowl, with all the other leaves so smooth and curly. It comes off as the angry, spiky one competing for attention, and the pieces are always too big. I feel like I'm wrestling it into submission as I try to eat it. In this dish, however, its bitter little leaves stand on their own and serve as a crunchy counterpart to the smoky, crisp bacon and the creamy poached egg, all tied together with a mustardy vinaigrette.

For me, this is the perfect, light weeknight supper. It turns two classic, breakfast ingredients - bacon and eggs - on their heads, and makes them more grown up with the addition of the salad and dressing. If you have never poached an egg before, I strongly encourage you to give this a try. One of my favorite food sites, the Kitchn, has a tutorial on how to do it. Once you get the hang of a few basic steps (listed below), it is really quite easy to make these, and the side benefit is that the eggs are cooked without adding fat, making them healthier to eat.

How to Poach an Egg:

One key is to start with really, really fresh eggs, like these from the Greenmarket
It is easier to handle these if you first break them into a small cup or bowl

Bring a pan containing about 2 inches deep of water to a slow simmer - not boiling!

With a fork, spoon, whatever, create a whirlpool in the water in the pan

While the whirlpool is still moving, gently pour the egg into the pan and
watch as the white wraps around the yolk
Cook for 3-4 and remove with slotted spoon
Dry on paper towel and then eat

Buon appetito!

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