For the salad:
- 1 small head curly endive, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 8 oz. bacon, cut into lardons (1/4" strips)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the croutons:
- 3 1/2-inch slices of a French boule, crusts removed, cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
For the poached eggs:
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350∞F.
- To make the croutons: Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and peppr. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, turning once, about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and reserve.
- To poach the eggs: Bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil and add the white vinegar. Break each egg into a small cup. Gently slide the eggs, one at a time into the boiling water. Cook until the whites are just set, about 4 minutes. Lift the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a bowl of warm water to keep warm while finishing the salad.
- To finish the salad: Place the endive into a bowl. Fry the bacon until lightly browned. Discard all but 4 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the oil and heat. Pour over the endive and toss well. The heat should wilt the leaves slightly.
- Add the vinegar into the hot pan and cook until it has been reduced by half. Pour over the salad and toss again. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Divide the endive among 4 plates. Sprinkle with the bacon and croutons. Place a poached egg on top and serve immediately.