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Salade Lyonnaise

December 29, 2010

You know the latest phrase “love, love, love” well make this classic French salad and you’ll be saying it over and over and over again. There are several steps involved but make it once and you’ll see that the end result is one of the most perfect salads ever created. There is something that happens when the egg yolk breaks open and is combined with the vinaigrette, the flavor of the bacon and crispy leeks, the crunch of homemade croutons round it out for a great meal. The traditional recipe calls for a slightly bitter green called frisée. I had spinach on hand so used it instead. Using fresh eggs works best for poaching as the whites hold together better than when using older eggs. I cooked bacon slices on paper towels in the microwave and used the same pan and oil to cook the leeks then the bread for the croutons leaving less dishes to wash. Whip up the vinaigrette in a bowl that can also go into the microwave to heat up before serving and schzam, dinner’s ready.

Salade Lyonnaise

Ingredients for 2

4 slices bacon

2 eggs

1/4 cup sliced leeks

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup cubed hearty bread

4 cups baby spinach, frisée, micro greens or a mixture

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste


Wash and dry spinach, set aside. Cook bacon in microwave on paper towels and covered with paper towels for about 45 seconds until crisp. Or cook in a skillet until crisp. Mix oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper whisking until emulsified. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Cook leek rings until crispy or just as they begin to turn light brown. Remove onto paper towels to drain. Add cubed bread turning to cover all sides with oil. Cook, turning to avoid burning. Remove to paper towels. Fill another skillet half way with salted water. Bring to a gentle boil. Break eggs, one at a time into a small bowl and side into water. Swirl water to keep egg white held together. Once white is cooked and yolks are still runny, remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain before placing on salad.  This part takes some practice but is key to the recipe. Toss greens, bacon and leeks with dressing. Top with hot egg and croutons. Enjoy.

Crispy leeks

Homemade croutons are easy and quick to make

Poach eggs in gently boiling water

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    December 30, 2010 12:12 pm

    One of my favorites – but one I never make for myself! You may have forced the issue. Happy almost new year! Sue

    • December 31, 2010 8:06 am

      HI Sue – It’s my go to dinner these days, not always with the homemade croutons tho. So good and easy and fairly good for you. Had it at Sprout last night. Only ingredients are listed on the menu and I chose egg. REALLY good. Thanks for checking out my blog!

  2. January 3, 2011 5:34 pm

    Sounds simply delicious! Excellent reminder of how the care and combination of simple ingredients will give great results.

    I cannot wait for the Northfield Farmer’s Market return this summer… I already miss the fresh DUCK eggs and imagine that they would be over-the-top in this recipe!

    Egg-poaching tips: add 1/2 t. vinegar (any) to the salted poaching water. The acidity will help keep the egg white (albmuin) pulled together better than without. Eggs can be poached “ahead of time” and re-heated with a quick dip in the cooking water (or warm water, if much later and you’ve tossed the cooking water). If/when appearance matters, you can trim jagged edges (egg white) with kitchen shears.

    Quick questions:
    1) Eggs: One (or more) eggs for the recipe or per serving/person? Recipe says break eggs one at a time, so this must mean more than one egg, but I wasn’t sure on the egg quantity.
    2) How far ahead of mealtime can the crispy leeks be made (ahead of time)?
    3) The salad picture leads me to assume that you dress the lettuce before you add the egg. Can you confirm?

    Thanks! Jessica

  3. January 3, 2011 6:40 pm

    Great questions and editing Jessica! I didn’t list 2 eggs in the ingredient list.. I’ll fix that now. One per person is correct. Thanks for the tips on poaching the eggs. Hadn’t heard the vinegar method previously. Will give it a try next time.
    To answer your questions
    1. one egg per person
    2. leeks can be made ahead of time. I called them “crispy” but they don’t have to be and taste just as good not fully crisped.
    3. Toss the greens, bacon, leeks with dressing. Put hot egg and croutons on top.
    I’m with you on missing the farmers market.

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