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Appetizers, Mains, Salads

Warm Treviso radicchio and dandelion salad with soft-cooked egg

Warm Treviso radicchio and dandelion salad with soft-cooked egg
Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

A coddled Maran egg served in its dark-chocolate-colored shell, a sunny-side-up duck egg nestled into a salad, a slowly, slowly cooked egg -- with its yolk bright and creamy and the white barely opaque and tender -- dropped into a ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes | Serves 8 as an appetizer, 6 as a main course

Madeira dressing

  • 2 cups plus 4 teaspoons Madeira, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/2 cup best-quality olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1In a small saute pan over low heat, bring 2 cups Madeira to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is reduced to one-fourth cup and in a glazey state, watching carefully as it thickens to avoid scorching. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.

Step 2Quickly whisk in the sherry vinegar. Add the remaining 4 teaspoons Madeira; whisk to combine.

Step 3Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, whisk in the mustard, grape seed oil, olive oil and pumpkin seed oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (You will have dressing left over after assembling the salad; save it for another use.)

Salad and assembly

  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 12 ounces slab bacon cut into lardons (1 inch by 3/8 -inch by 3/8 -inch rectangles)
  • 1 head Treviso radicchio, cut on a diagonal into three-quarter-inch slices
  • 1 bunch medium-size dandelion leaves, trimmed
  • 5 ounces Tavoliere cheese, thinly sliced into 24 pieces
  • Pepper
  • 8 duck (or chicken) eggs at room temperature (6 if serving as a main course)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Madeira dressing

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pepitas in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Toss every 4 minutes to ensure even toasting, and cook until toasted, about 12 minutes. Transfer the hot pepitas to a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil and one-fourth-teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Step 2Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the bacon lardons, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the fat is rendered, about 20 minutes. Remove the rendered lardons from the fat and set aside, discarding the fat.

Step 3In a large mixing bowl, combine the Treviso radicchio, dandelion, cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to boil.

Step 4Add the eggs to the boiling water. Boil for 7 minutes, or if you prefer your eggs cooked a little more, 8 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and peel under cold running water. Reserve, keeping the eggs warm.

Step 5Reheat the cast-iron pan over high heat. Add the lardons; cook until the edges are crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the lardons to the salad bowl. Toss to combine.

Step 6Off the heat, add the Madeira dressing to the hot pan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 seconds, deglazing the pan. Pour the contents of the pan into the salad bowl, and toss to coat evenly.

Step 7Cut each egg in half lengthwise and season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among six plates; tuck two egg halves into the leaves of each plate. Sprinkle each plate with about 1 tablespoon toasted pepitas.

Note: From chef-owner Suzanne Goin of Lucques. For 6 main-course servings, use 6 eggs.


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