Curly Endive Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing and Goat Cheese
- 1 large shallot, peeled and cut into paper-thin rounds
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 4 oz. chunk of bacon cut into 1/4” cubes
- 3 T. olive oil, if needed
- 8 small baguette slices
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 goat cheeses (each 3-1/2 oz. / 100g) such as Crottin de Chavignol, each cut into 4 horizontal rounds
- 1 head curly endive or escarole leaves, rinsed, dried thoroughly and torn into small pieces
- 6 T. red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- warm runny honey (optional)
Preheat the broiler. Place the shallots, minced garlic and olive oil in a large heatproof salad bowl and toss. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 15 minutes.
Place the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and fry it, stirring frequently, just until it is golden, about 5 minutes. Depending upon how much fat is rendered from the bacon, add up to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. While the bacon is cooking, prepare the toasted bread.
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet about 3 inches from the heat of the broiler and toast them on one side. When they are slightly crispy, remove them from the broiler and rub them on both sides with the whole garlic clove. Place one round of cheese on each untoasted side of the toast and place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.
Add the endive to the bowl with the shallots and garlic and toss to coat the endive with the garlic and shallots.
Add the vinegar to the pan of bacon, standing back as it gives off steam. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then pour the dressing over the endive mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Place salad on individual plates and place one piece of toast atop each salad.
Once the toasts are placed on top of the dressed salad, drizzle with a little warm honey. Serves 4.