Frisee Salad with Proscuitto & Poached Egg

This Sunday is Mother’s Day! From my experience in the food industry, Mother’s Day is a huge holiday to go out for brunch. We were slammed at the bakery last year, and I’m sure this year will be no different. Instead of going out to a busy restaurant, why not make brunch at home for your moms and grandmothers! I will be home in Colorado this weekend for Mother’s Day, and I thought I would start the early celebrations with a brunch menu fit for even the most wonderful foodie mom, Cathy Neistat.

Frisee Salad.jpg

Brunch is that funky meal where you can mix the whole lot together; breakfast, lunch, sweet, savory… you can have quite a lot of dishes, so long as there is some sort of theme! My brunch menu starts with a salad, but a salad that certainly has some breakfast connotations! It starts with frisee, which is a very unusual looking lettuce. If you know my mom, she loves weird, tree-like greens, so this was a very appropriate choice. Frisee is blanched slightly before they box it up- the stem has a little bit of a a bitter taste, but the actual leaves are slightly sweet. I’ve topped the frisee with prosciutto lardons (aka fancy bacon bits), spring ramps, and a poached egg, for an extra breakfasty feel!

Posted May 6, 2013


Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes   Total Time: 20 minutes

2-3 large heads of frisee, found in the lettuce section of your supermarket
1 thick piece of prosciutto, cut thick to ¼ inch
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
4 ramps, cleaned well (or 1 leek if ramps are no longer in season)

For Dressing:
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tbs olive oil

1. We are going to start the salad by preparing all of the other ingredients, so that you can poach the egg last, right before serving. Cut the ramps on a bias to create long, slim slices. The ramps have a nice onion taste, so you want them to be pretty thin. Cut the prosciutto into small, ½ inch pieces. Heat a small saute pan on low heat, and add the prosciutto to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the prosciutto starts to get nice and crispy. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel.
2. Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together, whisking the oil last in a steady stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, being a little light on the salt because the prosciutto is very salty.
3. Today is the day you learn how to poach an egg. Poaching eggs is one of the most commonly feared cooking methods, but it really is so easy! I’ll talk you through it!
4. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. You never want to poach eggs on boiling water, but I think it helps to bring it all the temperature of the water all of the way up, and then bring it down to where you need it to be. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat so that it is just below a simmer. The water should be steaming, but not bubbling. Bubbling causes the egg to break apart when it hits the surface, which is no bueno for a nice egg shape. When you have the water at the correct temperature, add the 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp white vinegar. These are kitchen tips that help the egg keep its shape.
5. Poach the eggs one at a time.
6.To assemble the salad, put a bit of frisee onto each plate. Top with the prosciutto lardons and the sliced leeks. Finish with one poached egg per person. Drizzle the dressing over top and add another bit of freshly cracked pepper.


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