Sweet, rich figs are great companions for bitter greens, bacon and black pepper. And if your figs are super-ripe, they will be creamy too, kind of like the soft egg yolks in the classic French salad of frisee, bacon and poached egg.
Put the bacon in a medium skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders its fat and is crisp but not dry, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a mixing bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings; discard the rest.
Add the shallot to the hot skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, another 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the vinegar, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir into the bacon.
Add the frisee to the bacon mixture and toss to coat with the bacon drippings. Taste, season with salt, if necessary, add a very generous amount of black pepper and toss again. Now add the figs and toss. Transfer to a large platter and serve immediately.
If the bacon renders a bit less than 2 tablespoons drippings, supplement with vegetable oil.
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