On the Farm we grew some different lettuce varieties that are referred to as Mesclun Mix. They are stronger flavored and heartier texture. They include, Oak leaf, curly endive, romaine, chard, mustard and dandelion even.
It is fall and these salad greens are still doing well in the garden. Some have bolted but others are just sitting there waiting to get picked.
Spinach is popular to green up your Benedict, but their are many similar great options. I chose to use my Mesculn greens but you can use any greens that are forward flavor wise with a bit of earthiness and a slight bitter bite. Bitter can be good, like in chocolate or coffee, it has to be balanced.
When it is it is like heaven.
Mesclun means something similar to “a mixture” in French and this blend of young lettuce varieties, originated in Southern Provence region of France where they take their culinary seriously and probably don’t care much for boring iceberg lettuce salad in a bag. So these greens have different textures and a full body flavor including slight bitter.
They often make a simple dressing of diced shallot fried with thick pieces of bacon called lardons and finished with red wine vinegar and toss their mesculn greens with it. Since I was using Canadian bacon on the Benedict I opted not to use bacon in this dressing and I didn’t have any shallots so I used onion.
Here I assembled from my garden my blend of Mesculn lettuce.
I have beet leaves, chard and radicchio, curly endive, baby red and oak leaf lettuce, but you can use anything you get your hands on, even collard or , kale, ….you don’t want to waste those beet tops. This is just a way to take strong flavored and textured green and add a dressing that balances and smooths out the flavor.
Gather your ingredients for the dressing and mix it up . I like to use a glass measuring cup. I can add 1 part vinegar. 1 part water and 1 part sugar depending on how much I am making.
1 onion finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
1/4 cup cider vinegar) or rice, sherry, champagne whatever)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 -1/2 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like it. ( we use truvia)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in with the wet ingredients
Saute the onions in a pan with the smoked paprika or you can use black pepper ……..
Till the onions are translucent.
Add the liquid ingredients and simmer for 10 min or so until it is slightly thickened.
Add a few table spoons dressing to a handful of the mesculin greens for one serving.
Toss until well coated and serve on the muffin over the Canadian bacon. Then top with the egg and Hollandaise and your good to go!