Ingredient Intelligence

Frilly, Crunchy & Crazy Bitter: All the Ways We Love Frisée

updated Aug 5, 2020
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If appearances were any indication, you’d expect lacy fronds of frisée to have a delicately sweet flavor best suited for a salad more pretty than tasty. And you’d be wrong. Nibble a piece of frisée, and you’ll be met with one surprisingly bitter green. Yet, frisée is still beloved by chefs and home cooks alike.

While it often gets lumped into the same category as endive or escarole it has its own unique character and flavor. Here’s what you can expect from frisée, plus how to use it.

What Does Frisée Taste Like?

Frisée comes by its bitterness naturally. It’s a member of the chicory family and can count endive and radicchio as its cousins. It also has a nicely crunchy texture that holds up well in dressed salads. And yes, a little mound of airy, barely-balanced frisée on a salad plate definitely makes a pretty picture at a dinner party.

Because of its bold flavor, frisée needs a firm hand when it comes to putting together a salad. It goes well with rich, creamy dressings and ingredients that complement its unique flavor and texture. Think: crunchy herbed croutons, cured meats, candied nuts, and tart dried fruits. One of the most classic takes on the frisée salad involves pork belly lardons, a poached egg, and a salad dressing made from the lardon drippings. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Do you have a favorite salad with frisée?