French Frisee Salad with Poached Egg and Bacon, or Lyonnaise Salad as it is sometimes called, is one of the most popular salads in small restaurants and bistros in France. This classic salad originates in Lyon, a city often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France. The combination of bitter greens, bacon, egg and a tangy shallot vinaigrette makes an impressive presentation and, with a little advance prep work, goes together in a matter of minutes. When the yolk is broken and is mixed into the salad it combines with the vinaigrette to make a sauce that coats the greens and bacon beautifully.
If you are nervous about poaching an egg or haven’t had much success when you tried it, my friend, Linda, at WHAT’S COOKING AMERICA has put together an excellent tutorial that explains several ways to go about it. For tips on how to select fresh eggs in the grocery store and a new way of poaching them take a look at this informative VIDEO.
Lyonnaise Salad is traditionally made with frisee (or curly endive) but any bitter greens such as escarole, dandelion, arugula or a Mesclun mix would be delicious. Off-season I can always find frisee at Whole Foods. The dark outer leaves can be bitter so look for heads with lighter green to almost white inner leaves. This is one of my favorite salads during our farmers’ market season when I can purchase greens, eggs and bacon that are right off the farm. I usually add homemade croutons but I had to drive into Portland on Saturday where I bought a fantastically light and delicious baguette at KEN’S ARTISAN BAKERY and served it with the salad. This is a perfect way to get every little drop of egg yolk and dressing that is left on the plate. If you want to see a website that will knock your socks off visit KEN’S BAKERY. Everything is unbelievably good. All I needed was a baguette but managed to leave with palmiers, canneles, and a slice of pound cake.
In five weeks I will be in Lyon and look forward to trying this delicious salad in the city where it was created. I wonder how similar my version will be to the “real thing.” My daughter and I are taking a leisurely 8 day river cruise from Avignon to Lyon and will do some wine tasting in addition to lots of sightseeing. We will then go on to Paris for a couple of weeks. This is my dream trip and I can’t wait for this adventure to begin.
- 2-3 heads frisee, light green leaves only, washed well and spun dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces bacon, cut into ½" pieces
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 large eggs
- Place frisee in large bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside in a small bowl. Add shallots to skillet, reduce heat to medium, and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar. Raise heat and simmer for 30 second. Season with salt and pepper. Add remaining tablespoon oil and swirl to combine. Set aside.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Break one egg at a time into the water. I like to break the egg into a small bowl and then gently slide it into the simmering water. Swirl the water a little bit to help form the egg. Poach about 2 minutes for a runny yolk or longer if desired.
- While the eggs are poaching, pour warm dressing over the frisee. Sprinkle with parsley and reserved bacon. Toss to combine. Divide frisee evenly among 4 plates. With a slotted spoon, one at a time, remove eggs from water. Pat try with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Top each plate of frisee with an egg.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.