Frisée aux Lardons (Salade Lyonnaise)
The French have this very strict attitude about meal time. I don’t just mean their behavior during meal time or what they’re eating. I’m talking about actual meal time. When it’s lunch time, there’s no keeping them away from their break and a glorious lunch salad like this frisée aux lardons, or salade lyonnaise.
Frisée aux lardons (Salade Lyonnaise)
Breakfast, should they choose to eat it, is early in the morning, lunch is from 12pm to 2pm, and dinner is 7pm and after. If you try to hop into a restaurant around 2:30 or 3pm, you better hope you have luck on your side that day as most restaurants begin to close down for the afternoon.
This is always an adjustment for me as I don’t always manage to eat within those time frames, especially when I’m dealing with jet lag and find myself waking up at odd times and looking for somewhere to eat in Paris!
If you find yourself hungry at 3pm, looking for a late lunch, your best bet is to stop into a boulangerie and grab a sandwich or head to a brasserie where you may find a tasty frisée aux lardons.
I love French salads. Most of them are made with a few simple ingredients, but they always taste so flavorful. Unlike the U.S., where we rely on heavy dressings and tons of salad ingredients, the French utilize 2 or 3 really flavorful ingredients, and then pair the salad with a light vinaigrette.
The classic frisée aux lardons, or salade lyonnaise, is the perfect example of this concept.
Traditionally, the salad is made with curly endive leaves, crispy pork fat, and a poached egg. It’s a great combination that can’t go wrong. But, I always like to add some sautéed leeks to my salad as well for just a little more oomph! Leeks are very similar to onions and, as such, add a ton of flavor to the salad.
For the vinaigrette, I keep it real simple. A 1:1 ratio of olive oil and white wine vinegar gets whisked together, along with a smidge of dijon mustard and a little bit of minced garlic. I pour this over the salad, top it with the fried egg, and then garnish with some freshly ground pepper and coarse sea salt.
I’m telling you that each bite of this salade lyonnaise is a party on your palate and truly makes you wonder how something so simple can taste so incredible.
Frisée aux lardons
Curly endive leaves dressed with dijon vinaigrette and topped with crispy bacon and a fried egg.
- 1 head of curly endive
- 2 stalks of leek, white and pale green parts only, sliced
- 3 strips of bacon, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/4 c white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- Break apart endive leaves, tearing them apart from each other and in half. Rinse the leaves well and temporarily set them aside to dry.
- Cut each stalk of leek in half, lengthwise, before rinsing under water very well. Make sure you rinse each crevice to make sure you get rid of any grit. Slice the leeks in 1/4 inch slices.
- In a medium saucepan, fry the diced bacon until crispy; set aside. Sauté the sliced leeks in this same pan until they’re tender - about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Remove the leeks and fry the eggs in the same pan, cooking each egg for 2 minutes, before flipping and cooking the other side for another 15 to 20 seconds. Note: If pan looks dry before adding eggs, add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to keep eggs from sticking.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, dijon, a pinch of salt, and garlic together.
- Toss the endive with the leeks, bacon, and just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad leaves. Plate the salad and top each salad with a fried egg. Sprinkle a little freshly ground pepper and some sea salt over the entire salad.
You will most likely end up with extra vinaigrette, which you can store in the fridge for later.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 2 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389
Hi Beeta! I hope you had a wonderful New Year! Things have finally settled down at home and I’m enjoying catching up on all the awesome recipes you’ve been creating! This one in particular caught my eye – I LOVE salads! I’m one of those ‘weird’ people that genuinely craves salads! And I totally agree with you – salads with simple, fresh ingredients, (especially when a runny egg is involved), and a light dressing is shear perfection! I just can’t stand those heavy salads drenched in cream dressings – no thank you! This on the other hand, I could eat everyday!
You are totally not weird, or maybe we both are because I love salads too! So glad you enjoyed this kind of salad recipe. Thanks so much!!
Hiiii Beeta!! I’ve never thought of putting a runny egg on a salad, but oh my, I can imagine the richness that the yolk ads to the deliciousness of the salad. Especially paired with a simple dijon vinaigrette! And the sautéed leeks; a really nice touch! Love the series of you breaking that yolk! Happy New Year my dear! xo
The runny egg is one of my favorite parts, exactly for the reason you gave: the richness! So so good 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet comment, deary! Happy New Year to you too <3
Stunning photos, Beeta!
This is one of my all time favorite salads. With it, I love poached and fried eggs, so perhaps I’ll make one of each. 🙂 And you’re so right about the French and WHEN you eat. In fact, one of our favorite restaurants didn’t even open for dinner until 8:30!
Thank you, deary! It can be such a bust when you want to eat a bit earlier, but I guess it forces you not to be an old lady, right? I feel like such a grandma when I visit Europe! :p I say we enjoy our frisées earlier in the day like happy old ladies <3
I smiled as I read this. Having lived in London where you can find restaurants open 24/7 I have had quite a few low blood sugar meltdowns in France when everywhere is ‘ferme’ and you can’t find something to eat! I love your salad Beeta, that would be my perfect light lunch. x
Right?? It’s just so awful when you are starved and nowhere is open! Thanks so much for your sweet words, love! XO
Beeta that salad would be a perfect lunch any day, and I am with you on the leeks. Nice add!
However, I usually end up eating my salads dry shying away from vinegar based dressings. The wine, I surely would be enjoying with the salad, would probably go to battle with the dressing. Remember vinegar is just good wine gone bad! I like to say vinegar grapes are jealous they did not make the cut for the good stuff. The two liquids tend to fight and great flavors are lost as the struggle goes on in your mouth.
Question: Have you experimented with using wine instead of vinegar when you make your dressings? It is not a one to one swap because of the acidity in the vinegar, but you can impart a lot more flavor (IMHO). I have had some pretty good luck enhancing the salad and the eating experience using wine.
BTW – I would head to Lorie Valley and probably choose a Pouilly-Fumé to pair with your lovely frisée aux lardons.
Hi Tom! I have never tried wine in a dressing, but I imagine it would be lovely – thank you for the idea! I’m actually trying to think of a time where I ordered wine with a salad, but I just can’t think of one, but the way you describe the clashing of the vinegar and wine makes total sense. Do you have any good recipes for a dressing with wine? I’d love to try!
And thank you for your lovely wine pairing suggestion! The Loire Valley produces some fantastic grapes, and that particular choice sounds so familiar. I will have to purchase some and see if I’ve had it before.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your suggestions and kind words! Hope you have a great start to the New Year! 🙂
What a lovely looking salad – it has all of my favourite ingredients. This looks delicious Beeta.
Thank you, Angela! You can’t go wrong with some bacon and eggs right?? 🙂
I love all types of salads, especially one with some bacon and an egg on top! Plus you added leeks, which I adore! Totally adding this to my list of salad loves, Beeta! Side Note: I’m not sure I could cut it in Paris, because I’m like an old fart who likes to eat dinner at 6 pm. 😉 Cheers, my dear! xoxo
LOL, don’t worry, girl! I’m totally with you one be an old granny. I’m always the first one to slip in when those doors finally open for dinner! :p I think part of the problem is that I can’t consume everything the French do in one sitting with their 3 courses and all. So because I don’t finish my food, I find myself hungry again a few hours later.
Thanks so much for stopping by like always and leaving a sweet (and funny!) comment <3
This is my kind of salad Beeta! You just can’t go wrong with topping some crisp light greens with a beautiful soft cooked egg, succulent bacon, and a simple vinaigrette. Then you go and put some sauteed leeks on it and I’ll eat this every day for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That’s a ton of yum on one plate 🙂
Thanks so much, Karrie! Glad to know you feel the same way as I do about this salad <3 All we’re missing are some of those amazing potato chips you got from Canada! 😉