Salade Lyonnaise.

What real, carnivorous person, (and even some quasi-vegetarians), could say “no?”

So, Salade Lyonnaise.  A simple dressing composed of quality Dijon mustard and balsamic or sherry vinegar.  Infused with shallots and bacon bits, lardons.  Tossed, warm, with frisee or a mix of bitter greens, the dressing slowly wilting and adding a sweetness to greens.  Topped with a poached egg, the yolk mixing with the dressing and creating a rich emulsion.  Simple, perfect, and healthy.  Right?

I cannot recall the first time I had Salade Lyonnaise, most likely because I did not exactly have a portion of my own until recently.  Eggs are not my favorite, but it is hard to resist a poached egg, ready to be popped.  More importantly, it is hard to resist a poached egg, on top of a simple salad, studded with bacon.  Tricky French.

Salade Lyonnaise

From Mark Bittman for the Minimalist

Serves four

4 cups torn frisee, washed and dried

½ lb. smoked slab bacon, cut into small ½-inch cubes, rind and skin removed

1 shallot, finely chopped

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked pepper

4 eggs

1.  Wash and dry the frisee and put in a salad bowl.  Put bacon pieces, lardons, in a skillet over medium heat, cooking until crisp all over, about 10-15 minutes.  Add the shallot and cook until softened.  Add the vinegar and mustard to the skillet stir until just combined.  Bring to a boil, stirring, and then turn off the heat.

2.  Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  To poach an egg, crack and egg into a ramekin and swirl the water in the saucepan so that the water is spinning.  Lightly drop the egg into the center of the water.  The current created by the swirl will collect the white.  Cook until the white is just set and the yolk is still loose, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Lift out of the water with a slotted spoon and drain briefly.

3.  Serve salad portions and place one poached egg on each portion.  Crack fresh pepper over the egg.  Serve immediately.

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