One of our favorite salad greens, not served often enough in the U.S., is frisée (free-ZAY), curly endive that’s a member of the chicory family. In France, it is formally known as chicorée frisée. (See the different types of endive.)
There are many ways to serve a salade frisée, but a universal favorite is frisée aux lardons, Lyonnaise-style frisée salad.
This salad tops the frisée with a poached egg and lardons—crisp, browned chunks of pork belly—and a sherry vinaigrette. When you cut into it, the runny egg yolk gives the salad a wonderful, silky coat.
Another favorite variation includes crumbled Roquefort cheese or goat cheese with a fan-sliced pear and a few toasted walnut halves. It’s a great flavor layering of bitter from the frisée, salty and smoky from the lardons, sweet from the fruit and tangy vinaigrette.
You can serve salade frisée as a light lunch with crusty rustic bread, as a first course, or with soup for a light dinner.
GETTING CREATIVE WITH FRISÉE
You can create your own signature frisée salad by adding some of these mix-and-match ingredients:
Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables
You can use a classic vinaigrette or a Dijon vinaigrette, but consider these special variations:
For another special touch, warm the vinaigrette in the microwave right before dressing the salad.
WHAT IS FRISÉE
Frisée is a salad green with distinctive pale, very narrow, curly leaves that grow in a bush-like cluster and are feathery in appearance. The name means “curly.”
Frisée is often included in mesclun and other salad mixes. It is extremely labor-intensive to grow, and therefore one of the costliest salad ingredients.
For that reason, it isn’t a conventional supermarket item, but can be found at upscale markets and purveyors of fine produce.
Frisée has a distinctive flavor and a delightful bitterness—less bitter than its cousins endive and radicchio. Its exotic feathery appearance has great eye appeal. Tips for using it: