Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tasteworthy: Frisee Aux Lardons, Well Sort Of

Remember about eight months ago when I told you I was ditching the weekly Tasteworthy Tuesday column because I would feel guilty when I was not able to keep up with it the schedule? I decided that instead of a weekly column I would keep it more relaxed and post recipe and entertaining ideas when I had time to prepare them. It looks like I'm better off having a set schedule because since I made that announcement I have not produced a single recipe post. Shame on me! Truth is the meals I was cooking during that time period were pretty uninspired. Recently I made a big change to my diet and it's that I no longer eat meat but still eat seafood and dairy. I made the decision for many reasons I'll explain another time. Making this major change to my diet has revitalized my desire to cook. I now have to come up with meals that will satisfy a meat eater and a non-meat eater and also adapt old favorites to be meat free. Today's recipe is all about adapting it to be meatless.

Frisee Aux Lardons is hands down my favorite salad. I love it for brunch, lunch, dinner, or whenever. The French really know how to do a salad right. Lightly dressed frisee, salty blue cheese, crispy chunks of slab bacon, and a poached egg oozing warm yolk over all of it. Since I still eat dairy and eggs adapting this recipe wasn't that tough but the question was could veggie bacon stripes really be used as a substitute for slab bacon. Turns out it can. It's not the same, obviously. It is not even similar but it does the job of giving the salad the salty smoked flavor that real bacon would.

Frisee Aux Lardons

Frisee Aux Lardons
serves 4


1 head of frisee, rinsed and chopped or torn into bite sized pieces
4 eggs, the closer to farm fresh the better
4 - 5 strips of smart bacon or as I like to call it facon
a few ounces of French blue or Gorgonzola cheese, cubed
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


Cut veggie bacon strips into bite size pieces and heat in a skillet for a few minutes. Be sure not to over cook this stuff or else it will turn into cardboard.

Wisk together red wine vinegar and olive oil and toss with frisee. Add warmed veggie bacon and cheese to salad and incorporate.

In the meantime poach the eggs in a gently simmering pot of water for 3 to 5 minutes. Tip: adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the poaching water helps the egg whites stay together.

Divide frisee amongst 4 bowls. Top each with a poached egg and lightly season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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