Crispy prosciutto, perfect poached eggs and a shallot-butter vinaigrette. It’s a salad, you hear?
For a couple of whirlwind months, I’ve been looking forward to participating in Gourmet, Unbound, the ongoing epilogue to Gourmet Magazine created by the bloggers at Pithy & Cleaver, Sassy Radish and In Jennie’s Kitchen. Lots of us miss Gourmet, and this project gives everyone a chance to help keep the spirit of the magazine alive by cooking and writing about a recipe from the Gourmet archives for the current month. I’m glad to finally make a contribution.
Salad Lyonnaise is a classic French salad of frisée with lardons, poached egg and warm vinaigrette. Gourmet‘s recipe, from the February, 1999 issue, is a relatively classic version. That recipe is online here at Epicurious.com. If you’ve spent much time around here, you know I have a tendency to tinker with all but a sacred few recipes. So this take on the classic is a little different. For once, though, I’ve got a couple of decent excuses.
Although I really like frisée, I already had half a head of its close cousin chicory left over in the fridge from this salad. And although I really like lardons —they’re thick little sticks of pan-fried bacon, so “I really like lardons” is a tautology, to be sure—we had some prosciutto that needed to be used. And here’s the kicker. We’ve only got three days to eat down the fridge, because that’s when we’re moving. To a house with this for a kitchen floor. It’s not like we spend much time in the kitchen though, right? So that should be fine. Hello?
Back to the point, you may also be wondering why I buttered the vinaigrette. Well, that’s because it has cooked shallots in it. And all instances of cooked shallots without the presence of butter (all of them, dangit!) are nothing more than wasted opportunities. Plus, lardons yield a lot of fat, but crispy prosciutto doesn’t, so your pan will need a little lube as you start to make the dressing.
Alright, I wish I could say I weren’t writing this post from the inside of a moving box strewn with outgrown baby clothes, but a girl can’t always have everything. Enjoy your salad, and stay tuned for more about the new digs and an upcoming mostly-DIY, mostly-budget kitchen renovation. I can’t imagine there’ll be any room for self-deprecation there.
Chicory Salad with Crispy Prosciutto and Warm Shallot-Butter Vinaigrette
- 1 head chicory (or escarole or frisee), washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar (optional)
- 4 very fresh eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper