Back in the good ‘ol days, I used to work at a restaurant in Chelsea, Quebec, called Les Fougères. At Les Fougères, I got the chance to work alongside Charlie & Jennifer Part; the chef-owners of the restaurant. During the few years that I worked there, I learned many, many things, and have consequently thanked them for shaping my cooking style. One of the items that has never left the menu at Les Fougères, is a salad called “Salade Fougères”. This is a simple yet satisfying salad, and the flavours are out of this world! Yes, I know that I’m talking about a salad, but it has everything a girl like me needs; bacon, cheese and some tangy vinaigrette!
Recently, I was dead tired and exhausted when I came home from work (as per usual these days), and was not in any mood to toil over my stove. What would Doug & I have for dinner? He, of course, always suggests salad, and I, of course, always squawk at the very idea! “No! No greens for me!” But on this fateful evening, I had no energy to fight, so I dug deep into our fridge and found some ingredients that would hopefully satisfy my hunger. Okay, no double-smoked bacon for lardons, but I found some pancetta (still a fatty pork product), some curly endive (not mesclun mix, but heartier and more zippy), and a log of goat cheese. Next for the dressing; dijon, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper. Ahhh, all necessary ingredients, for my version of this wonderful salad.
I started by crisping the pancetta in the oven (making sure to keep the excess fat to drizzle on top of my finished salad). I then washed and dried the endive and crumbled the goat’s cheese. Finally, I gave the vinaigrette a quick whisk and tossed all of the components together. These simple steps produced a very sexy salad reminiscent of the “Salade Fougères” I so often crave.
If you ever get a chance to make it to beautiful Chelsea, Quebec, I strongly suggest making a stop at Les Fougères for some exquisite cooking, a mind-blowing wine list, and a Salade Fougères!