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Frisée Salad with Bacon and Poached Eggs
Frisée aux lardons—a salad of frilly frisée dressed with wine-vinegar vinaigrette and embellished bits of crisp, salty bacon and a runny-yolked poached egg—is a French bistro classic. Our recipe is inspired by the version made by chef Paul Boudier at Le Maquis in Paris’ 18th arrondissement. Toasted croutons are a delicious addition that complements the other ingredients. To find the simplest and best poaching method, we cooked dozens of eggs. We learned that abundant water is needed so the temperature doesn’t plummet when the eggs are dropped in; this is why we use 3 quarts of water in a large Dutch oven. Also, spiking the poaching water with vinegar helps the proteins set quickly, reducing the “feathering” of the whites and resulting in neater-looking eggs. As for the greens, if you’re not a fan of frisée, substitute an equal amount by volume of torn escarole, endive or radicchio.
ounces country-style bread, crusts removed, torn into rough ¼-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
tablespoon plus ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided