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What Is Frisée?
Frisée is a member of the chicory family, a group of bitter, leafy vegetables that includes radicchio, escarole, and the Belgian endive. Heads of frisée, also known as curly endive, are thick and bushy with lacy, frazzled stems.
How to Prepare Frisée
To prepare a frisée salad, tear sections apart into bite-size pieces using your hands to keep the leaves intact. (The stiff, branching leaves can be difficult to maneuver around a fork when left too large.) When preparing frisée for cooking, fold and gather the frisée, then use your knife to make one-inch cuts across the lettuce until you reach the white and yellow heart of the frisée, which is extremely bitter and traditionally not eaten.
5 Ways to Serve Frisée
Frisée’s inherent bitterness allows it to complement and balance richer components.
- Make a bistro salad. Pair frisée with salty, fatty lardons or pancetta, poached eggs, and shallot and mustard vinaigrette to create your own spin on a Lyonnaise-style French bistro salad.
- Serve with chicken. Dress frisée with a vinaigrette made from pan drippings and sherry vinegar, alongside roasted chicken.
- Pair with fruit. Serve frisée with ripe slices of peach, citrus or persimmon, roasted, caramelized walnuts, and creamy blue cheese for a flavorful appetizer.
- Sautée with garlic. Garlic sautéed greens go with almost everything: Sauté frisée with olive oil and a few finely chopped garlic cloves then store it in the fridge. Use the sautéed greens as a garnish or light snack.
- Add it to a sandwich. Tuck frisée into a sandwich with whole-grain mustard, cold cuts, and pickled red onion for a striking yet subtle bitter note.
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