Many people are a bit scared of frisée. They worry that it will be too frizzy, too bitter, and too overwhelming to use as a salad green.
This fear might arise from bad experiences with store-bought frisée, which can be woody and extremely bitter. But there’s no reason to fear this chicory when you’re getting it from a farmers market or CSA. It’s in season from spring through early summer.
Frisée adds a wonderful spiciness and a gorgeous feathery appearance to salad mixes. It’s also tasty enough to be the star of a filling dinner salad.
Here are a few recipes to help you conquer your frisée fear.
For a vegan frisée salad, try topping the greens with a few chopped, sun-dried tomatoes and my Garlic-Walnut Dressing:
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup of walnuts
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1. Put oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften (about 6 min), stirring occasionally. Add the walnuts and continue to cook until they just begin to color (about 4 min). Let the mixture cool slightly and then put in a small food processor.
2. Process the walnut mixture until you have a relatively smooth paste. Add the orange juice (to taste), Dijon mustard, walnut oil, salt and pepper. Run the food processor again. If necessary, add more oil to thin your dressing. This dressing will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Frisée can stand up to heavier, creamier dressings than can delicate salad greens, making it a good candidate for a green-goddess dressing. For a vegan version, click here.