One of my favorite meals is a classic French salad of bitter greens, poached eggs and crispy bacon. Every so often I mix up a vinaigrette of shallots, sherry wine vinegar and fried apple-smoked bacon and keep it in a jar in my refrigerator, making it easy to assemble this salad quickly. Garnish the salad with bread cubes that have been browned in your best olive oil and a big sprinkle of Kosher salt once off the heat.
Charlie Trotter's Sherry-Bacon Vinaigrette:
4 oz. bacon, julienned (I use Nueske's)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely diced
salt & freshly-ground black pepper
* Cook the bacon until crispy. Place bacon and 1/4 cup of the rendered bacon fat in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar and shallot and season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble salad:
Toss bitter greens with vinaigrette. Top each serving with one to two poached eggs. Garnish with croutons. Season poached eggs to taste.