Chef's Recipes

Frisée salad with roasted figs and pancetta croûtons

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for frisée salad with roasted figs and pancetta croûtons by Alice Waters.

By Alice Waters
  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus resting
Frisée salad with roasted figs and pancetta croûtons
Frisée salad with roasted figs and pancetta croûtons

"This is a perfect salad for autumn with the sweet taste of figs, salty pancetta, and the bitter crunch of frisée," says Waters. "I like to mix red wine vinegar and balsamic together; I find balsamic vinegar a bit too sweet on its own."


  • 3 small heads frisée
  • 6 ripe figs
  • 3 tsp each balsamic and red wine vinegars
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pancetta croûtons
  • 3 slices country-style levain bread, 2cm-thick, crusts removed
  • For brushing: olive oil
  • 8 slices pancetta (about 120gm)


  • 1
    Tear off and discard the tough, dark outer leaves from frisée. Remove and discard the root ends of each head, separate the individual leaves, wash and dry well.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 190C. Halve figs lengthways and arrange in a roasting pan cut-side up. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of each vinegar and oil, season to taste, then bake until soft (7-10 minutes).
  • 3
    Mix shallots and remaining vinegars in a small bowl and season to taste. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to marry the flavours, then add extra-virgin olive oil and combine. Check taste, adding extra vinegar, oil and salt as needed. Add any roasting juices from figs into the vinaigrette.
  • 4
    Cut bread lengthways into eight 2cm-wide sticks and brush with oil. Wrap each bread stick with a slice of pancetta, place on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake until pancetta begins to crisp (10 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 5
    To serve, toss frisée with some vinaigrette in a serving bowl, then arrange figs and pancetta croûtons on the greens.


Note This recipe is from The Art of Simple Food II ($40, hbk) by Alice Waters, published by Clarkson Potter and reproduced with GT style changes.
Drink Suggestion: An off-dry rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen