Combine thick batons of slab bacon, or lardons, runny-yolked poached eggs, a sprinkling of minced shallot, and frilly frisée, and it's no surprise that the resulting salad is salty, sharp, and satisfying. Even better, salade Lyonnaise, as it's known in France, is gloriously versatile. It can serve as an elegant yet easy first course to a classic French meal or satiate on its own with the addition of an extra poached egg and a smattering of croutons or a hunk of baguette to mop up any extra dressing.
For a splendid and not-too-fussy meal, start with the salad at hand and a glass of crisp white wine, and pair it with lemon and lavender roast chicken, moules à la marinière, or a bloody rare New York strip steak. Either way, make certain to try out this can't-miss recipe.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon (or thick-cut bacon), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar, or more to taste
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt, to taste
2 large eggs
1/4 pound (1 small head) frisée, rinsed thoroughly and torn into bite-size pieces
Freshly cracked black pepper
- Add the oil and lardons to a large nonreactive skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon has rendered its fat, taken on some color, and is just starting to crisp. Remove the lardons to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving behind as much bacon fat as possible.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add about 1 tablespoon white vinegar to the simmering water.
- Add the minced shallots to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally until softened; remove from the heat. Pour in the Champagne vinegar and mustard; whisk to emulsify. Season to taste with salt.
- Poach the eggs in the acidulated water. Carefully set the poached eggs aside on a small plate.
- Reheat the dressing if necessary (it should be warm, but not hot), add the frisée and lardons, and toss with your hands until everything is evenly coated in the dressing.
- Divide the greens and lardons between two plates and top each plate with a poached egg. Season with a few cracks of black pepper and more salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.