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by on March 20th, 2012

Salad Lyonnaise

Simply wonderful and oh so French.

(Paris update:  Bon Jour –been here six days and loving every minute. Had my second chocolate croissant this morning. Breads fantastic. Weather perfect. Saw Eiffel Tower last night. Our dinner at Verjus tonight 9:30. Everyone very nice.) (UPDATE– I can’t believe we did not see this salad on bistro menus in Paris or Provence maybe it is only in the Lyon area of France — whatever the reason it wasn’t on the menus, it should have been.)

I could hardly wait to “eat our way across France” so the first time I saw this salad on a menu, I had to order it. See picture of the French version at bottom of this post. (If I figured out how to upload a picture from my new iPad that is, if not, then I will

What a perfect salad to say hello to Spring and to France. This is a very popular salad on French bistro menus. Beautiful lettuce like frisee make this such an attractive salad on the plate. This is a simple salad with ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator. Don’t be intimidated by the poaching of the egg; you’re just boiling them without the shell. They can be done in advance, shocked in ice water to stop the cooking and rewarmed in simmering water when ready to put your salad together

This salad typically is made with frisée, because of the unique texture and slight bitterness but if you can’t find it do a spring salad mix. Escarole, dandelion and arugula would work in this salad also. The frisee along with crisp bacon lardons, garlic croutons, a mustard vinaigrette made with some of the warm bacon fat topped with the beautifully poached egg makes this an amazing salad.

I made this salad for a French dinner we did before leaving for France.

Beautiful and elegant lettuce and one I had not bought previously to making this recipe.

I poached my eggs in advance, shocked in ice water, and then I reheated in simmering water for 1 minute before adding to my salad.

I cut the bacon into little lardons.

Render out all the fat until nice and crisp. Drain and set aside.

The next time I do these croutons I will put the bread cubes into the pan before the garlic, stir until almost brown enough and then add in the garlic at the end. My garlic got a little too brown.

The dressing is left in the pan and then right before serving, warm the dressing, add in the frisee and give a quick turn to coat. This makes the lettuce a bit warm but not wilted.

This was absolutely delicious and I could have skipped the rest of the meal and had seconds on the salad except there were no leftovers.

Salad Lyonnaise

Olive oil*
1 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 baguette, cut into cubes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 strips bacon
1 Tbsp. white-wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, finely minced
4 large eggs
1 tsp. white vinegar
8 oz. frisée, torn into pieces (or Spring mix)

To make the croutons, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter in a sauté pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cubed bread and toast until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add bacon to the pan and cook until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Reserve the fat in the pan.

Crack each egg into a small dish. Prepare ice water in bowl.

To poach egg: bring a shallow pan with with 3 inches of water and vinegar to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Once you only see small bubbles, carefully slide each egg into pan with the dish close to the surface of water. Poach 2 eggs at a time for 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs and place in ice water.

Make the vinaigrette by whisking the 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat, white-wine vinegar and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Add frisée and toss to coat.

Divide the greens among four plates. Top each salad with the toasted croutons. Crumble 1 piece of bacon per plate. Remove the eggs carefully from the water bath and blot with a paper towel. Remove any jagged edges. Place 1 egg on top of each salad and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

*If you have hazelnut or walnut oil or grape seed oil, either of those can be substituted for the olive oil.

Some additions you could add to stray away from the classic version would be the addition of some sliced pears, mushrooms, or proscuitto instead of the bacon.

My salad.

Salad in France. (Hope to have a picture, if not I will add it when I return home.)

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