Last week I had jury duty. It was the best. Everyone warned me about getting bored, but only boring people get bored. Monday morning, bright and early, I lined up with my fellow jurors in the freezing cold outside the courthouse in the financial district with Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah tucked in my purse. The Boyfriend and I are headed to Paris next month (!!!!!) and I read this book on jury duty to prepare myself for our foodie adventure … and then I got really hungry and bought myself a stale chocolate croissant from the cart man outside the jury room. I felt sort of like Joey on that Friends episode where he eats pre-Thanksgiving meals to stretch out his stomach. Anyway, the book is fantastic and Mah includes a chapter on salade lyonnaise, also known as frisee salad. I spent the whole week craving it and finally made myself a salade lyonnaise — using Mah’s recipe — on Sunday afternoon.
I instagrammed this photo on Sunday and ANN MAH commented on my photo! Yep, the lady herself. She said, “Bon appetit! Looks so good I want to jump into the photo.” What’s the least creepy response to invite her to actually jump into my photo? I don’t want to say I’m a stalker, but I took really good notes on her book and I am going to recreate her life for a little bit and if I met her I would probably either pee my pants or die.
I learned from Mastering the Art of French Eating that this salad is traditionally made with dandelion greens and comes from Lyon. As there is a shocking dearth of dandelion greens in New York (I mean that only half kidding, #hipsters), I made it with frisee instead and it was amazing. Like, #cleanyoplateamazing.
- 2 eggs
- 1 head of frisee (or other strong-flavored greens, like arugula)
- 2 pieces of bacon
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2 T. red wine vinegar
- 4 T. olive oil
- 1 T. dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- For the soft-boiled eggs: Fill a pot with half an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil. Add in two eggs, cold from the fridge. Cover the pot and allow the eggs to steam for 6 to 7 minutes. When they are done, run cold water over them and peel. BOOM. Perfect soft-boiled eggs every time. Christopher Kimball is a genius.
- For the salad: Rinse and tear frisee. Cut bacon into lardons, small ½" wide strips. Heat a skillet, once it's hot throw in the lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown. Pull out the lardons and scatter them over the frisee, reserving the rendered fat. Throw the smashed garlic cloves into the hot bacon fat and toss them until lightly browned. Pull the garlic out and scatter over the frisee-bacon salad.
- In a lidded jar, shake together vinegar, olive oil and mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salads and top with a whole soft-boiled egg. Adjust the salt and pepper for taste.