This lightly dressed salad is a great brunch dish
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups coarsely shredded escarole
1/2 cup very finely shredded radicchio
four 1/2- to I-inch slices of Tuscan or other crusty peasant bread
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh herbs (such as flat-leaf parsley and/or rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 pound prosciutto
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
4 large eggs
1. Make the salad: whisk together the shallots, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and mustard in a large bowl. Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the vinaigrette until it is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Wash and dry the escarole and radicchio and set aside.
2. Make the fettunta: grill the bread set on a rack set about 4 inches over glowing coals, turning it once, until it is golden. (Alternatively, the bread may be toasted on a rack under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat, turning it once; or on a ridged grill pan over moderate heat.) Rub one side of each toast slice with the cut side of one of the garlic cloves, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs. Season the fettunta with salt and pepper and arrange the prosciutto over each slice.
3. Make the eggs: fill a wide skillet with 2 inches of water and add vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Poach eggs by breaking one into a saucer and sliding it into the water. As each egg goes in, immediately push white back toward the yolk with a large slotted spoon, moving egg gently, and simmer 3 minutes. Drain eggs separately in a slotted spoon, blot carefully with paper towels, trim ragged edges of whites, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Toss the escarole and radicchio with the vinaigrette until combined well. Season to taste. Divide the salad among 4 plates, arrange poached egg on the fettunta in center of each plate, and serve immediately.
One of our favorite things in bistros in France is salad that has warm, runny eggs in it. This version, no less delicious, has an Italian accent: a slice of fettunta (the Tuscan name for bruschetta) with a piece of prosciutto sits under a poached egg. Also, the bitter, Italianate lettuces are perfectly mellowed by the yellow yolk. This lightly dressed salad is a great brunch dish; you could make it more substantial by doubling the amount of eggs (serving two poached eggs per person). Serves 4