lost in france: my salade lyonnaise

salade lyonnaise (bacon and egg salad)
After walking around a small town in southern France for what seemed like hours, we still hadn't found either our friends we were meeting for lunch. We are lost in France and not in a big-haired, floaty chiffon 1970s soft focus kind of way; no birds singing, bands playing or people dancing (just the rumble of traffic and me scowling). I am hot, dusty, and footsore and, possibly more importantly, I haven't eaten for more than three hours. Quelle horreur! 

We stopped at the nearest bouchon café we came to since by now my glowering and bad temper is irritating even me. But after several glasses of cool wine, a compliment from an adorable waiter and the perfect frisée salad with bacon and a poached egg, all was right with the world.

So this is my version of Salade Lyonnaise, enough to cheer even the grumpiest.

Serves 2
Skill level: Easy

150g mixed salad leaves (frisée for the frill and radicchio for bitterness)
2 x slices of rustic or sourdough bread
1 x garlic clove
150g thick cut, smoked bacon
olive oil
2 x eggs
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 x shallot, very finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pre- heat oven to 160C. Rub bread on both sides with a cut garlic clove. Cut bread into small squares (about 1.5 cm) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until dried-out, but not rock hard.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together (or shake up in a jam jar). Check the seasoning.
  3. Add a splash of olive oil to a frying pan and gently fry bacon, so that it slowly exudes its fat, but begins to crisp up. When cooked remove and set aside, but drain any fat back into the saucepan. 
  4. Add croutons to the pan and stir to ensure well-coated in oil and pork fat. Fry until lightly browned on each side and crisp.
  5. Poach an egg – I microwave mine in small cup on MEDIUM High for about 50 seconds. Perfect eggs every time, although they do look a little like flying saucers!
  6. Put the salad leaves in a large bowl. Sprinkle over the bacon and toss with the dressing.
  7. Top with a poached egg and the croutons.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

When I worked near Grenoble, Salade Lyonnaise was my favourite starter on the restaurant menu.
Whilst not wishing to bring you down to the status of the blessed Delia, but how do you prevent the egg exploding in the microwave or just sticking to the cup?