If I had to choose a favorite meal, I would probably say brunch. We love going out to new brunch spots on lazy Saturday mornings, but sadly, lazy Saturday mornings seem to be a thing of the past lately. So brunch food has now become a favorite thing we make at home whenever we get a chance.
I still remember when Antonia Lofaso first made this recipe on a Top Chef episode and thinking how it sounded like the perfect plate– texture from the almonds and crostini, creaminess and richness from the Parmesan cream, a some acid from the vinaigrette, and a little freshness from the salad. When I finally made it, the recipe didn’t disappoint and was every bit as good as if we went out to eat.
There may seem like a lot of steps/components to this dish, but it actually comes together really quickly. If I make bacon for another recipe, I like to cook a few extra slices, use some of the drippings for the dressing, then save the extra bacon to make this recipe another day. Let’s just ignore the fact that this recipe has bacon, bacon fat, and cream in it so we can justifying eating it not just for weekend brunch, but also breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- FOR THE SALAD and DRESSING:
- 6 slices of thick cut bacon, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 small head of frisee lettuce, washed and chopped
- 12-16 heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
- FOR THE CROSTINI:
- 1 demi-baguette (I like using a multi-grain one)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- FOR THE PARMESAN CREAM
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1¼ cups shredded Parmesan
- FOR THE EGGS:
- 4 eggs
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons almonds, crushed
- Cook bacon in a large pan over medium heat until cooked through and crisp. Remove from pan and reserve. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon and honey. Slowly add in reserved bacon fat and olive oil, whisking to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to broil. Cut demi-baguette into thin slices and drizzle with just a little bit of olive oil. Place slices on a baking sheet and cook until crisped up and starting to brown lightly. This will only take a few minutes; watch them closely so they don't burn.
- Meanwhile, start the Parmesan cream. Add heavy cream to a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until cream begins to bubble on the sides, then lower heat and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add in Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Wipe out the pan you used for the bacon and heat a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of it. Crack eggs in the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook to desired doneness.
- On 4 plates, add a large handful of the frisee. Top with crumbled bacon and tomatoes. Drizzle with the bacon vinaigrette (you will have extra vinaigrette to use later). Add a few slices of crostini to the plate, placing an egg on top. Drizzle egg and crostini with Parmesan cream, then sprinkle with almonds. Serve warm.