Shredded Endive Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

I have a favorite salad in New York. It's from Landmarc (surprise, surprise) and is super simple: frisee, lots of little chunks of lardon, a simple vinaigrette, and topped off with two perfectly poached eggs.

I'm obsessed with this salad. Obsessed.

Last week, my friend Vanessa and I met at Landmarc for drinks around 3pm. I ordered this salad and we sat drinking talking and drinking margaritas at the bar for the next few hours (my friend Moe also came over and joined us). When Eugene got out of work, I told him to come meet us ladies for dinner, at which point we transferred over to a table where I proceeded to order the same salad for the second time that day. Two days later, we went back for lunch, and you already know what happened.

Anyway, this salad is not that salad. It's not that salad at all, but it was inspired by it--the combination of the super assertive vinaigrette, the slightly bitter greens, and the chunks of salty and smokey bacon.

Let's talk about warm bacon vinaigrettes. They are BY FAR one of my favorite salad dressings. To make, tiny bits of bacon (or lardon or pancetta) are cooked in a pan until the meat is crisp and the fat is rendered.

You then scoop out the bacon, reserving the fat, which takes the place of oil in your dressing. A bit of Dijon mustard and vinegar is added to the pan over low heat and then you whisk whisk whisk until it's all emulsified into a perfect vinaigrette.

A dash of seasoning and you can then pour this over your favorite salad. The warmth slightly wilts the greens, making for a particularly perfect combination.

I love this dressing on hearty greens (like the aforementioned frisee) or spinach. Sometimes I toss in thinly sliced tart apples for additional interest. Here I combined the dressing with thinly shredded endive, which I actually added directly to the pan--the heat sweetens them up a bit and you find yourself with a really lovely side dish or entree salad.

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Shredded Endive Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

4 large endive
4 strips thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon creamy dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
kosher salt
black pepper

Cut the ends off the endive and slice finely. Set aside.

Add the bacon to a pan over medium heat and slowly cook until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered. Scoop out the bacon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan. Return the pan to low heat and add the mustard and vinegar. Whisk everything quickly until completely combined and emulsified. Add the endive to the pan and stir around to coat completely. Stir the bacon back in and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.

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