Photo: Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post
This dish combines the fun of an Egg in a Hole with the sophisticated French Frisee aux Lardons salad, and it does so in a healthful way, using lean Canadian bacon instead of fatty lardons for smoky pork flavor. It makes for a homey yet sumptuously elegant brunch or breakfast-for-dinner.
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
3½ ounces thick-cut Canadian bacon (3 slices) or ham steak, diced
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallot or scallion
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four ½ -inch-thick slices crusty whole grain bread (taken from the middle of the loaf if the loaf is round)
4 large eggs
3 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped or torn frisee or chicory
Brush a nonstick skillet with 1 teaspoon of the oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon or ham and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is nicely browned. Transfer it to a plate.
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil with the sherry vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Use the remaining tablespoon of oil to brush both sides of each slice of bread. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter or small glass to cut a hole in the center of each slice of bread; reserve the cutouts, if desired.
Heat the same skillet over medium heat. Place 2 of the bread slices and 2 cutouts in the same skillet and crack one egg into the hole of each slice. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the egg whites are mostly set and the bread is toasted on the underside. Use a spatula to turn over the bread/egg slices and cutouts, if using, cook for 1 minute more, so the white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Repeat with the remaining bread slices, eggs and cutouts, if using, to create the remaining two eggs in a hole.
Toss the frisee or chicory with the dressing in a mixing bowl until evenly coated, then divide the salad among individual plates.
To serve, place one egg in a hole and one reserved cutout, if using, on top of the salad on each plate. Sprinkle with the browned bacon or ham.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving: Calories 280; Total Fat 17g; (Sat Fat 4g); Protein 14g; Carb 15g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 200mg; Sodium 580mg; Total Sugar 2g