Frisée, Bacon, Date & Quail-Egg Salad

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean

By Melia Marden

Published 2013

  • About

Crisp bacon bits and tiny quail eggs resting on a nest of frisée are an elegant, miniaturized version of a classic breakfast combo, making this salad perfect as a hearty brunch dish. The intense molasseslike sweetness of the dates and the rich bacon fat balance the bitter frisée.

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 4 ounces (115 grams) bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 dates, pitted and cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) thick
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil

For the Salad

  • 3 small heads frisée lettuce
  • 8 quail eggs
  • 3 dates, pitted and cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 millimeters) thick
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Make the dressing: In a frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until completely crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
  2. Add the shallot and dates to the pan and cook in the bacon fat until softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Combine the date-and-shallot mixture, vinegar, egg yolk, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the oil and blend until just emulsified. Be careful not to blend too long, or the mixture will become very thick, like mayonnaise.
  4. Make the salad: Cut off and discard the dark green parts of the frisée. Cut off the root and tear apart the pale green lettuce with your hands; you should have about 8 cups. Rinse with cold water and dry in a salad spinner. Place in a serving bowl.
  5. Place the quail eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and let sit for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Peel the eggs and halve them lengthwise; set aside.
  6. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss very well to coat. Top with the reserved bacon, the dates, and the quail eggs. Season to taste with pepper and serve.