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Author Notes: The contrasts between the sweet and sour cold pickled beets next to the warm lardon vinagrette poured over a fried quail egg and greens makes for a very interesting combination and inspired by combining several recipes from Emeril Lagasse, Bam! —Brian
- 2 pounds Heirloom Beets, organic
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 cloves
- 6 cardamon pods
- 2 fresh bay laurel leaves, 1 if dried
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 cups red wine vinegar
- 2 cups champagne vinegar
- .25 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 cups brown sugar
Frisee Salad with Quail Egg and Hot Lardon Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 head frisee, washed well and spun dry
- 1 head radicchio, shredded
- 8 ounces uncured slab bacon, Locally best smoked from Zier's Meats Wilmette, Illinois, cut into lardons, 1/2 inch wide and thick pieces
- 1 small shallot, minced
- .5 cups white wine vinegar, I found a great bottle of blood orange wine infused wine vinegar that was a great extra note of bitter flavor for this dressing
- 1 tablespoon creole or coarse ground seeded mustard
- 8 Fresh Quail Eggs
- The day before you plan on serving this salad, tightly wrap the trimmed beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour or unti you can pierce them easily with a knife, set aside to cool completely and peel off any tough spots and dice into matchstick sized pieces
- In large non-reactive pan, combine all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Pour hot brine over shredded beets, let cool and then refrigerate overnight
- Before plating, remove sprigs of thyme and bay leaves.
- For salad, wash and spin dry the frissee which you have pulled apart into managable pieces and shred the radicchio and keep chilled
- In a large skillet, gently brown the bacon lardons being careful to render the fat evenly but keep them from getting too brown. When the bacon has rendered most of its fat and is crisp and brown, remove from pan and set aside to drain on paper towels to keep crisp
- In pan with bacon fat, carefully crack the quail eggs and fry till the whites are set and browning around edges but the yolks are still runny
- Arrange the chilled greens on 1/2 of each chilled plates in a diagonal and with a slotted spoon to allow extra brine to drain pile the shreded beets on the other 1/2 of the plates
- top the greens with a fried quail egg and scatter the crispy lardons across the salads
- Quickly and carefully make the hot dressing by first browning the shallots in the bacon fat, add the wine vinegar and mustard until bubbly, add more vinegar if it is not enough for all salads, make sure to scrape up all the bits from the bottom of the pan and pour the hot dressing over the quail eggs and greens only and serve immediately