BUTTER LETTUCE & FRISEE WITH POACHED EGG & LARDONS

Twenty-seven hens roam around our backyard and these lovely ladies provide an abundance of colorful eggs. Poaching a dozen eggs at a time ensures at least two meals. The first is this any-time-of-the-year salad. Who doesn't love bacon, eggs and parmesan? With PROVENÇAL FRENCH ONION SOUP as an accompaniment, it is the perfect light lunch or supper. The second is a two minute breakfast--simply reheat the eggs in a skillet filled with simmering water. When warmed through, drain and serve with buttered toast.

Nota bene: Cooked poached eggs may be stored in a cold water bath in an airtight container for three days.

Ingredients

  • One small head butter lettuce, small green leaves whole, otherwise tear into pieces

  • Small bunch of frisee lettuce, small stems

  • 12 tiny tomatoes, halved

  • 4 eggs, poached

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch lardons

  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan Reggiano, coarsely grated

  • Distilled white vinegar

Directions

1. Cook the bacon lardons in a small skillet on medium heat until just barely crispy and the fat renders. Turn off the heat and place the lardons on a paper towel.

2. To prepare 4 poached eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the distilled vinegar and lower the heat to a simmer. Crack each egg into a small ramekin. As slowly as possible, gently lower the ramekin to the water (the edge should touch the water's surface) and slide the egg into the pot. Repeat. Cook the eggs for exactly 3 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon (the eggs may be stores at this point in cold water for up to one day and gently reheated for 1 minute in simmering water just before serving. 

3.  Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the skillet. Whisk in the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper to taste. 

4. On each salad plate, place two whole pieces of butter lettuce. Tear the rest of the butter lettuce and the frisee and put in a salad bowl. Toss with the reserved dressing and half the lardons.

5. Top the whole greens on each salad plate with the dressed greens.

6. Sprinkle the remaining lardons and six tomato halves around the plate. Slide the poached egg to the center of the plate, top with one tablespoon of the Parmesan. Finish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4