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The CIA Lyon Frisée aux Lardons


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces slab or thick-sliced bacon
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 heads frisée lettuce
  • Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup Sourdough Croutons, or as needed (recipe follows)
  • 4 Poached Eggs, warm (recipe follows)
  • 4 teaspoons Fines Herbes (recipe follows)
  • Kosher or sea salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • Sherry Vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sourdough Croutons
  • 1/2 cup clarified butter or as needed (see Recipe Note)
  • 2 cups sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch croutons
  • Poached Eggs
  • 2 quarts water, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • Fines Herbes
  • 1 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced chervil
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced tarragon


  1. Sherry Vinaigrette
  2. Whisk together the vinegar and mustard with a pinch of salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until it is all incorporated and the vinaigrette is smooth and lightly thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Whisk the vinaigrette just before using to recombine if necessary.
  3. Sourdough Croutons
  4. Add enough clarified butter to a sauté pan to come to a depth of about 1/2-inch. Add the croutons in batches and cook, turning as necessary, until they are an even, golden brown on all sides. Transfer the croutons to toweling, to drain once they are browned. The croutons are ready to serve now or they may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  5. Recipe Note: Clarified butter is whole butter that has been melted in a heavy pot and cooked over low heat until the water and milk solids separate from the butterfat and fall to the bottom of the pot. Skim off any foam that rises to the top and then pour off the clear, golden clarified butter, leaving the milk solids and water behind. Clarified butter can be used to sauté meats, fish, poultry, and vegetables.
  6. Poached Eggs
  7. Combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a deep pan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. There should be enough water to fill the pot to a depth of about 3 inches.
  8. Break each egg into a clean cup, and carefully slide each egg into the simmering water. Cook until the whites are set and opaque, about 3 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a slotted spoon and blot them on absorbent toweling. Serve the eggs immediately.
  9. Recipe Note: To prepare the eggs in advance, poach them as directed above. Once they are poached, transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool them rapidly. Store directly in the water in the refrigerator until needed. To warm poached eggs, lower them into simmering water for about 30 seconds, blot as directed above, and serve.
  10. Fines Herbes
  11. Toss the parsley, chervil, chives, and tarragon together in a small bowl and reserve until ready to serve the salad.
  12. Frisée aux Lardons
  13. Cut the slab bacon into lardons (sticks measuring 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch by 1 inch). Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until evenly browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and add the shallots.
  14. Cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender and translucent but with browning, about 2 minutes. Transfer the bacon and shallot mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  15. Separate the frisée into leaves. Rinse well with cool water and spin dry in a salad spinner (or blot with a clean towel). Place the frisée in a salad bowl, add 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat evenly. Divide the frisée among 4 salad plates.
  16. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and shallot mixture and cook until just warm, about 1 minute. Divide this mixture evenly among the salads.
  17. Top each salad with some of the croutons and a warm poached egg. Sprinkle with some of the fines herbes, season with salt and pepper, and serve at once.

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