This is a classic French salad for those of us who don’t like salad. It’s meaty, rich and decadent and is a celebration of bacon, eggs, bread and gluttony. And yes, it’s a salad… of sorts.
I first came across this on my study year in France – I went visiting some of my classmates in Lyon, the gastronomic capital of France and came across this dish, as a starter in a traditional Bouchon – a Lyonnaise restaurant that specializes in sausages, duck and heavy dishes from the region.
Being a student, being strapped for cash and being is a perpetual state of hang over, this dish was perfect recovery fodder. As a slightly more responsible middle-aged man, it’s the perfect starter for dinner party as it can all be prepared in advance (even the poached eggs) and plated with minimal fuss, time or bother.
The below feeds four as a starter or two gluttons for a main.
Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ by Miranda Lambert
- 1 Frisée lettuce
- 200g Smoked lardons
- 4 medium eggs
- 1tbsp salt
- 2tbsp vinegar
- Claudie’s classic French vinaigrette
- Quality French baguette
- Wash and dry off the frisée and divide equally between 4 shallow bowl plates
- Over a medium heat, fry off the lardons, rendering down the fat and till the bacon is crisp and browned.
- Tip on to kitchen roll to absorb all the excess fat and then scatter equally over the frisée.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil with a tablespoon of salt and two tablespoons vinegar.
- Once boiling gently, create a mini-whirlpool and crack your first egg in and cook for 3-4 minutes until the white is set.
- Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the lardon/lettuce combo. (If preparing in advance, place in iced water – to reheat just place back in boiling water for 30secs).
- Guests pop their yolk, pour over Claudie’s classic French vinaigrette and toss.
Use the bread to mop up the rich and tangy eggy-vinaigrette combo
Serve with a cool ‘n crisp Soave Pieropan to cut through all that richness