Salade aux Lardons with Poached Egg
This recipe just screams summer to me. I picture boats, docks, lazy lunches with two bottles of wine and this nice little salad. It’s a classic, but there is a reason for its becoming a hallmark of French bistros across the land - it is fabulous! With a glass of crisp, herbaceous white Bordeaux, the heat of August is almost unnoticeable.
For the salad:
2 medium eggs
mixed greens –not delicate leaves – stiffer/heartier types
about a cup of thick cut bacon or pancetta, cubed
about 1 cup croutons, preferably homemade
For the vinaigrette:
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp salt
3 tsp pepper
pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. vinegar for poaching
First make the vinaigrette. In a heavy bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar then whisk in the oil in one slow stream until emulsified. The bowl should be heavy so that it stays put while one hand pours oil and one whisks. Now, set this aside for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.
Fill two saucepans halfway with water and heat until they begin to boil. Drop a Tbsp. of vinegar in each. Meanwhile, wash and dry the lettuce and place in a large bowl. Heat the bacon cubes or pancetta on low until they begin to crisp, throw the shallots in with a dab of olive oil and turn the heat off. Now drop the vinaigrette into the warm pan to mix with the warm shallot and bacon dressing.
Stir the water into a fast moving whirlpool and crack the egg into the center of the water’s “hole”. It will turn opaque and its “tendrils” will eventually swirl around to form that perfect poached egg shape.
Now dress the lettuce, top with warm poached egg and the croutons and Enjoy!
***(cook’s note) if you are worried about timing the eggs for warm preparation, have a little bowl of ice water next to the stove and as the eggs get poached, drop them in the water. This will stop the cooking process so they remain poached and do not become hard boiled. When you are ready to eat, heat the oven to 400 degrees, dress the salad with the egg and pop into the heated oven for 2 minutes or so. Voila...
Recipe created and submitted by Holley Browning.