An updated take on the classic French Salade Lyonnaise, served as an open-faced sandwich over toasted bread with frisee, lardons, and a warm sherry vinaigrette.

Like most simple dishes, the difference between one that’s merely good and one that is truly great, is the technique used to put the dish together. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the classic Salade Lyonnaise to suit my tastes and I think my mods take the dish to a whole new level.

A slow cooked egg on top of a classic French Salade Lyonnaise.

 

To start, I like to use pancetta rather than bacon for my Salade Lyonnaise because the smoked aroma of bacon steamrolls over the delicate flavors of the frisée and sherry vinegar. I also don’t let the lardons crisp completely because I want them to be juicy and meaty, not dry and chewy. When cooked perfectly they are ever so slightly crisp on the outside, with enough fat left in them so that each piece gushes salty porcine goodness with every bite.

As for the egg, you can check out my poached egg tutorial to make a beautifully runny poached egg, or you can use a slow cooked egg (which I’ve done for these photos). Although I normally recommend a temperature of 63.5 C for slow cooked eggs (for custardy yolks), I actually like them at 62 C for a Salade Lyonnaise so that the yolks take on a little body, but are still runny.

Lastly, maybe I’m just weird, but I’m not a huge fan of croutons. They’re impossible to fork, and I feel like they get in the way more than than they add to a salad. That being said, all that delicious dressing and creamy yolk seemed like such a waste to leave smeared all over the plate; so I came up with the perfect solution. I serve my Salade Lyonnaise over a very well toasted slice of bread. That way, by the time you start growing bored of the salad, you’re left with a still crusty piece of bread that’s saturated with the sharp, meaty flavors of the dressing and the creamy yolk; at this point, you can pick it up with your hands and finish off the salad as an open-faced sandwich!

 

A few tips to make the best Salade Lyonnaise with frisee, lardons, and a warm sherry vinaigrette.

 

Salade LyonnaiseMy take on the classic French Salade Lyonnaise, served as an open-faced sandwich over toasted bread with frisee, lardons, and a warm sherry vinaigrette.

Summary

  • CourseSalad
  • CuisineFrench
  • Yield2 salads
  • Cooking Time5 minutes
  • Preperation Time10 minutes
  • Total Time15 minutes

Ingredients

80 grams
frisée (washed and dried)
2 slices
bread (toasted well)
1 tablespoon
olive oil
100 grams
pancetta (cut into 1/3-inch battons)
12 grams
shallot (~1 tablespoon, minced)
2 tablespoons
sherry vinegar
1/2 tablespoon
dijon mustard
2
poached eggs
ground black pepper

Steps

  1. Soak the frisee in water to crisp for Salade Lyonnaise
    Unless you picked your frisée from your yard, there's a good chance it's gone a little limp on the way to your store. If this is the case, just cut the leaves up into bite-size pieces and soak them in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Be sure to spin the frisée in a salad spinner or dry it with paper towels before using in the salad.
  2. Toast your bread.
  3. Lardon frying for Salade Lyonnaise
    Add the olive oil and pancetta to a small frying pan and fry over medium heat until the pancetta has rendered out a good amount of fat and is starting to brown around the edges, but has not yet turned crisp. There should still be some fat on the lardons, and the meat should not be like jerky. Transfer the lardons to a plate and set aside.
  4. Mustard, sherry and pork fat emulsion for Salade Lyonnaise Dressing
    Add the shallots to the pan and fry until fragrant, but not browned (about 30 seconds). Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sherry vinegar and mustard to emulsify the dressing.
  5. Assembling a Salade Lyonnaise
    To plate the Salade Lyonnaise, put the toasted slices of bread on two plates. Layer the frisée into mounds, scattering some lardons between each layer.
  6. Drizzle some dressing over each salad and top with a poached egg and some freshly cracked black pepper.