I am so lucky to have friends with chickens. Friends with chickens who share those eggs! Those wonderful feathery ladies produce the best eggs. The yolks are dark and stand straight up, and the flavor is wonderful. I am sure this is a result of happy chicken living; organic feed, leftover veggies, grubs and bugs from the yard. As a result, we have been eating more and more eggs for dinner.
The first time I met my father-in-law I tried salad lyonnaise. We were having Left Bank in Larkspur, CA. I was extremely nervous and don't remember most of that evening, except for the salad. A warm bacon vinegrette drizzled over bitter frisee, topped with a poached egg. The salad blew me away and has stuck in my memory ever since.
I have always wanted to duplicate this recipe but I can't poach an egg. It always ends in disaster. When you are using precious neighborly eggs, the thought of wasting one is painful. I decided to try my baked egg technique, cutting the baking time down to 6 minutes. The result was great. The whites were a little stiffer then a poached egg, but the yolk still ran to mix with the vinaigrette. Don't be afraid of this salad! It is wonderful!
This makes 4 starter salads, or 2 dinner sized salads. Cook one egg for each plate.
6-12 thin slices of baggette or some quality croutons
1 garlic clove, sliced in half
2 slices thick cut bacon, sliced into small pieces
4-6 green onions, white and green, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 or 2 heads of frisee lettuce, depending on size
1. To bake the eggs: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups. Crack an egg into each cup. Put in oven, set timer for 5 minutes and check at that point. You may need to let it go another minute or two. You want the whites set, but the yolk still runny.
2. To make vinaigrette: Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add bacon and garlic, when it starts to sizzle add green onions. Cook 2 minutes. Remove garlic.
3. Stir in mustard and vinegar. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer until eggs are set.
4. Divide frisee among plates. Divide thinly sliced bread among plates. Top with an egg and drizzle with hot dressing. Serve immediately.
5. I like to add an additional sprinkle of french sea salt which adds a wonderful crunch to the gooey egg.