Frisée with Walnut Oil and Mustard Vinaigrette

July 13, 2023

back to recipes

SHARE ON facebook share link email share link

Frisée with Walnut Oil and Mustard Vinaigrette

For some weeks, I’ve been enjoying a variety of bitter greens coming into the market, including frisée. I like a mix of bitter greens in a salad, but I also like frisée by itself. I like a robust vinaigrette for these bitter salads, and enjoy being guided by Deborah Madison’s “Bitter Greens with Walnut Oil and Mustard Vinaigrette” in her wonderful book Vegetable Literacy.

Her recipe is for four people, but it’s easy to reduce the quantity of bitter greens to serve one, two, or three people. When I’m serving fewer than four, I like making enough vinaigrette for four, refrigerating it, and using it within a few days for more salads of bitter greens.

When I don’t have crème fraîche on hand, I substitute either sour cream or a full fat Greek yogurt.

During these hot days, I enjoy these salads with canned sardines drizzled with lemon juice. A glass of rosé is nice, too.

The Recipe


  •  ½ cup freshly cracked walnuts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups bitter greens, torn into pieces a bit larger than bite size

The vinaigrette

  • 1 plump clove garlic
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons strong red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche


  1. Heat the oven or a toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the walnuts in a shallow pan and toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes or so. Pour onto a plate and toss with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper.
  2. Put the greens in a wide, spacious bowl.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, pound the garlic with ¼ teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth. Stir in the vinegar and mustard, then whisk in both oils, followed by the crème fraîche. Taste the dressing on a leaf and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the greens and toss to coat evenly. Add the walnuts and toss again, then pile the greens high on individual plates and serve.

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!