The Popularity of Salads Year Round

Vinegars give you free rein to vary your salad meal. Such creative preparations become easier than ever because anything that ferments can be used to make homemade vinegar, such as cider vinegar from apples, white vinegar from assorted grains or white wine, red vinegar from red wine or rice vinegar from different types of rice. You can also use balsamic vinegar, which is not made from fermented wine but rather from sweet, white Trebbiano grape pressings boiled down to a dark syrup and aged under rigid restrictions. By the way, balsamic is delicious on ice cream too.

A new eating treat I think you will enjoy is frisée salad, which looks like curly strings of greens growing from one central root. Combine frisee with other types of lettuce and protein, like poached eggs, bacon or both. Wonder-ful flavor and great texture as well.

Frisée & Belgian Endive Salad Recipe

Serves 4-6

2 heads frisée lettuce, outer leaves and root ends discarded (if unavailable, substitute with 2 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into small pieces, mixed with 2 cups baby kale, chopped)
2 heads Belgian endive, sliced into circles
3 strips thick bacon lardon, cut into ½-inch chunks
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tsp honey mustard
1 Tbsp small capers
1 turn freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sea salt
6 fresh large eggs
1 tsp white vinegar

Directions

1. Gently cut, rinse and dry frisée and endive, and place in a large salad bowl.

2. Sauté lardon (using pork fat or thick bacon) until crispy, and place on paper towels to drain. For a healthier alternative, replace lardon with cauliflower florets tossed with 1 Tbsp olive oil, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika; roast the cauliflower in a 425F oven for 40 minutes and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, red-wine and champagne vinegars, garlic, mustard, capers, black pepper and sea salt; set aside.

4. Using tongs, carefully divide lettuce and crispy chunks of lardon or cauliflower among four to six plates.

5. Dress each salad with 1 heaping tablespoon dressing.

6. For poached eggs, be sure to use very fresh eggs; their white will be thicker. In a medium, 4-inch-deep sauce pan, heat water to a simmer with one teaspoon white vinegar (to help the eggs coagulate).

7. Crack one egg at a time, place it in a small ramekin and pour it into hot, boiling water. Repeat immediately with one more egg, and simmer both for 3 minutes.

8. Remove poached eggs with a slotted spoon, and place one on top of each salad plate. Repeat with remaining eggs, until all six eggs are poached.

Chef Allan Zox

May 2016

Check out Zox’s Kitchen on www.longislandweekly.com for more recipes. Visit www.zoxkitchen.com for details about past columns.

 

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