Enjoy This Recipe Courtesy of Chef Les Kincaid
Frisée Salad with Beans & Warm Bacon Dressing
This salad offers a plethora of contrasting flavors and textures: tangy goat
cheese and slightly bitter frisée, creamy beans, juicy tomatoes and crisp
croutons--all tossed with a warm bacon dressing. The tender white leaves
from the center of a head of chicory or escarole are a good substitute for the frisée.
1 cup dried navy beans--picked over, rinsed and soaked overnight in 4 cups of cold water
1 whole bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
2 cups cubed crustless peasant bread ( 3/4 inch)
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound thick-sliced bacon cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch strips
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound frisée, torn into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 pound mild goat cheese, crumbled into 1-inch pieces
Drain and rinse the beans. In a medium saucepan, combine the beans with the bay leaf, garlic and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover partially and simmer the beans until tender but not mushy, about 1 hour; add 1/2 teaspoon salt 10 minutes before they are done. Drain the beans and let cool to room temperature. Discard the bay leaf and garlic.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the bread cubes with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until golden but not dry.
In a nonreactive medium skillet, fry the bacon over moderately high heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the fat in the skillet. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
In a large bowl, toss the frisée with the beans, bacon, toasted croutons and tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss. Add the goat cheese and toss gently but thoroughly.
Yield: 4 servings