Joey would like to go on record as saying that frisee is just wrong. He says the texture is not made for eating, that when you put it in your mouth, it feels like a cat hanging on as it pushes it’s way down your throat.
Frisee, or “frizzy” as people say at the market, is a wonderful leafy bitter green. Most often, you will see it mixed in with other lettuces in a salad, but like escarole, it can also be sauteed. Many people seem to be frightened of frisee- perhaps it is the distant meowing that Joey seems to hear.
There is a salad, which I learned as a particularly French way of eating frisee. I don’t know if this is the truth, but when I cook up this salad for myself (or force it on Joey) I feel French, and that’s all that matters.
Frisee Salad with Bacon and Egg
for salad as a main dish for two
1 Head frisee
3 oz. slab bacon or thickly cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 T white vinegar
2 large eggs
2 T red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Break the frisee into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry it. Put into a large bowl and set aside. In a cast iron skillet, fry the bacon until very crispy. When it is done, add the red wine vinegar, and let it boil together just for a moment. Then pour the whole thing over the frisee, and toss well.
Fill a small sautee pan with water. Add the vinegar. Bring it to a low simmer. Crack the eggs into two small cups or ramekins- then slide them gently into the water. Let them cook for 3 minutes.
Split the frisee between two large bowls. Gently remove the poached eggs from the water, and place on top of the dressed frisee. Add lots of salt and freshly ground pepper.