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Frisée and Herb Salade au Chapon

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Frisée and Herb Salade au Chapon

Frisée and Herb Salade au Chapon
Ellen Silverman
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total prep
Props to my cousin Mark for inspiring me to create my own salade au chapon, a recipe he discovered in the British cookery writer Elizabeth David’s book, French Provincial Cooking. David explains that the recipe is great for those who like garlic but don’t want to “swallow whole hunks of the bulb.” She rubs raw garlic on toasted bread (the chapon), which is tossed with the salad and then eaten at the end of the meal. My variation adds a mix of fresh herbs, a lemony dressing and a refashioned garlic technique. Gently poaching the garlic in oil softens both the bite and the bulb, and gives the oil a subtle garlic flavor. For the bread, I like a thick slice of miche, a rustic, slightly honeyed sourdough with a dense chewy crumb, dark crust and mild tang. Any good-quality country-style bread can be substituted. I grill the bread on a cast-iron griddle, but it can also be toasted.

Recipe courtesy of Salads: Beyond the Bowl: Extraordinary Recipes for Everyday Eating by Mindy Fox. Published by Kyle Books, 2012.


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup very good extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, gently smashed and peeled
  • Four 1-inch-thick slices rustic country bread, grilled or toasted
  • 1/2 pound frisée
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach (2 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 packed cups mixed herb leaves, like mint, basil, cilantro and chives
  • 3 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • Flaky coarse sea salt


  • Make the base for the dressing: In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon juice, shallot, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and a generous pinch of pepper. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil and garlic and gently heat over very low heat until the oil is fragrant and the garlic is softened, about 5 minutes (tilt the pan, if necessary, to keep the garlic cloves submerged in the oil, and remove the pan from the heat from time to time to keep the garlic from coloring). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • Put the grilled bread on a large plate and drizzle with the infused oil from the saucepan, then spread the garlic cloves on top. Tear the frisée into bite-sized pieces and combine in a bowl with the spinach, herbs and radishes.
  • While whisking the reserved lemon juice mixture, add the 1/4 cup very good oil in a slow and steady stream. Vigorously whisk to emulsify, then drizzle the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad to combine. Season with several pinches of flaky coarse sea salt and toss once more. Divide the salad among 4 serving plates. Tuck the breads among the greens.

  • Garlic-Poaching Primer:Poaching garlic in oil is best done in a tiny 1/2-quart saucepan. If you don’t have one, I recommend adding this little size to your cookware collection. It is useful for heating up sauces or scalding milk for café con leche. You can also tilt a larger saucepan or skillet to the side while gently heating the mixture, keeping the garlic submerged in the oil.