As the weather warms up, so does our social calendar, and that means there is suddenly a much greater need for a wider and more aesthetically versatile variety of light an breezy, yet delectably delicious dishes to serve during these awesome summer months of outside entertaining and dining. One such phenomenal recipe for such times is a classy classic known to the gourmet world as “Salade Lyonnaise.”
While the perfect rendition of “Salade Lyonnaise” certainly doesn’t take 4 years in culinary school to master, it’s the subtle nuances and attention to the minor details that will make the difference between a mouthwatering masterpiece and an average, run of the mill poached egg and bacon salad.
For example, your “bitter greens” really, truly do need to be authentically bitter in order to create that optimum balance of flavors that this traditional European delicacy is known world wide for. So invest a few extra dollars and a little bit of time seeking out the real, actual frisée, along with authentic escarole, dandelion, and arugula leafy greens.
The water that you poach the eggs in should be salted and just barely simmering. It’s best to crack the eggs individually into a small, shallow bowl before slipping them gently into the water. I know that a lot of people don’t like runny yolks, but for this recipe, the runnier the yolk is while the white of the egg is fully cooked, the better, I promise!
Farm fresh eggs are better tasting and simpler to deal with, as the whites won’t spread out as much in the water. An old European culinary tradition is to add a Tablespoon of white-wine vinegar, to help the egg whites coagulate while boiling.
8 cups shredded, mix of frisée, escarole, dandelion, and arugula leafy greens, rinsed and crisped
1/4 pound French bread, sliced and toasted
1/2 pound Gourmet Bacon, cooked to taste and chopped into 1/4-inch lengths
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 bottle of Gourmet Olive Oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Tenderly tear the salad greens into bite-size pieces and place in a wide salad bowl.
Rip the bread into 1/2-inch chunks and scatter over the greens.
Put bacon in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat and stir often until browned and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to towels to drain off any excess grease.
Carefully break the eggs, “individually.” into a shallow bowl and carefully slip them into the simmering water, one egg at a time, though it’s fine to boil them all together in a single pan, just introduce them into the pan of water, carefully, one at a time.
Simmer until the egg whites are no longer clear and are solidifying, but the yellow yolks are till fluid. When the whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny, remove the pot from the flame and set the eggs aside and to themselves, carefully, each in its own, small shallow bowl, on top of the stove to keep them warm.
Coat a frying pan generously with gourmet olive oil and over a moderately high flame, pour in the vinegar and mustard, and whisk until the mixture boils.
Then pour this hot dressing over the mixed salad greens, and bread, adding in bacon and vigorously.
Now carefully spoon the mixture into wide bowls or lipped plates and top each serving off with a hot egg.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and Bon Appetit.
Signing off and Pigging out,
Rocco “Boss Hog” Loosbrock