l.i.c., new york
I almost never lament the fact that András doesn’t eat meat. But the other night, I got a hankering for the French classic salad, frisée aux lardons, and cooked up a batch of bacon for the first time in our almost meatless home. When it was finished crisping in the fry pan, I crumbled it up, deglazed the bacon bits from the pan with a spot of cider vinegar and whizzed it together in the blender with a teaspoon of Dijon and several spoonfuls of our best olive oil. I poured this warm over a platter of frisée topped with a poached egg and pumpkin fried in olive oil. It was a splendid supper.
András got a meatless version of this salad, but I couldn’t help but think he was missing out, just a touch. But, ces’t la vie, right?
Until that Friday, when we settled on a cozy date night at home, which usually means simple, impromptu dinner, glass of wine, movie. We still had half the head of frisee left in the fridge, and I had gotten my hands on a pound of my favorite wild mushrooms—Maitake and Beech. As I cooked them in olive oil over high heat, their woodsy aroma filled the house with a smoky satisfaction that recalled the bacon from the night before. So when the mushrooms were crisp, I deglazed the pan in the same cider vinegar, which released all the crispy mushroom bits and their earthy flavor along with it, and made a hot mushroom vinaigrette even more memorable than the classic aux lardons from the night before. Poured over the frisse, with thick wedges of roasted butternut squash and meaty mushrooms, it made a nearly perfect dinner, and a divine discovery. Frisée aux champignon!
Here's my recipe: