Frisee Salad with Poached Eggs and Pancetta

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 20m

Serves 4

This savory salad is served plain with only pancetta and croutons or in the style of Lyon, with poached eggs placed on top. The sturdy, curly-edged, bitter frisée lettuce remains an excellent base for either preparation and stands up well when tossed with the warm dressing. If you can’t find frisée, spinach is the best substitute.


  • 4 small heads frisee
  • 4 slices pancetta, each about 2 ounces and 1/2-inch thick
  • 12 baguette slices, each cut on the diagonal 1/2-inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Freshly ground pepper


Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

Wash the heads of frisee by soaking them in a bowl of water and then gently lifting them out. Repeat until the water is clear. Spin or pat the heads dry. Remove and discard the greener outer leaves; keep the whitest parts of the lettuce nearer to the heart, and trim off the tough core. Place the frisee in a large bowl and set aside.

Unroll the pancetta slices and cut crosswise into strips 1/2-inch thick. Place in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Drain, rinse with cold water; drain again. Set aside.

Brush the baguette slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and arrange on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast, turning once, until the edges are golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

Fill a saucepan 3/4 full with water. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, so that the water is just below a boil. One at a time, break each egg into a saucer and slip it into the water. Work quickly, so that the eggs all begin cooking at nearly the same time. Poach until the whites appear cooked and are slightly warm to the touch and the yolks are still liquid, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in another sauté pan over medium heat. Add the drained pancetta and sauté until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar and deglaze by stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom; continue to stir for about 45 seconds. Pour the vinegar mixture evenly over the frisee, add the chives and toss well. Divide the greens evenly among individual plates.

Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove the eggs from the water, shaking off any excess water. Place them on top of the salads.

Add a few turns of ground pepper to each salad and place the toasted baguette slices around the edges of the plates. Serve immediately.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2078

nutrition information per serving

536 calories; 51g total fat; 250mg cholesterol; 484mg sodium; 4g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 13g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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