This quintessential salad originated in Lyon, France. It’s a classic salad that is found in many bistros throughout the country. I consider it a gourmet dish, and does require a little juggling in the kitchen. This kind of lettuce is called Frisée (pronounced: Freezay) also known as curly endive. This salad has a lot of textural components that create an explosion of flavors in the palate. The French use lardon as their pork fat, but I put my twist on it and use pancetta. The combination of the mildly bitter green, savory pancetta, tangy vinegar, succulent shallots and the runny eggs make for a creamy and delectable taste sensation. I assure you, in the end, you will want to sing La Vie en Rose. Put on your apron and follow me in the kitchen.
Serves: 5-6 Difficulty: Intermediate
- 1 head of Frisée (curly endive) remove bottom piece, rough chopped
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil + more to drizzle
- 1/2 lb. of pancetta, or bacon chopped*
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar* + 2 tbsp.
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 5 eggs, poached
- Water to boil the eggs (in a medium-sized pan)
1) Wash the Frisée, pat dry with paper towel. Rough chop and place them in a very large serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2) In a large frying pan, on medium-high heat, heat 4 tbsp. olive oil. Brown the pancetta for 3-4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon.Set aside.
3) In the same pan, lower the heat to medium, add the shallots and sautee’ for 2 minutes. Deglaze with vinegar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Set aside or keep it on the warmer.
4) In the meanwhile, time to poach the eggs. In a medium-size pot, fill up with water and add 2 tbsp. vinegar. Bring water to a boil. Crack the eggs in a large plate. Slide them in the boiling water. Give it one gentle twirl with a large spoon (do not break the eggs) and let it boil on medium-high flame for 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon. There will be some egg white separated from the eggs. Do not use them. The eggs should come out whole as seen in the first picture.
5) Time to assemble the salad. Pour the hot shallot dressing and pancetta on top of the salad. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to sip down to the bottom. Place the eggs on top, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Right before serving, gently break the eggs with a knife, so they can run into the salad. At this point, after receiving all the compliments, toss well. You can also create individual salad bowls with an egg on top. The choice is yours.
My family went crazy over this salad! My hubby said: Where are you going to get a salad like this?? This is awesome!! Everyone was fighting for the eggs and the pancetta. It was beyond marvelous, and makes a fantastic accompaniment to any protein of your choice. This can also be served as a main meal with a piece of french baguette.
Wine pairing suggestion: Chardonnay or a nice Chablis which is a chardonnay from the Burgundy region in France. Otherwise, pick a white wine you like and make your own pairing.
Cook’s notes: 1) If you want to get fancy, you can use Champagne vinegar instead of apple cider.
Instagram Feature Contest:
Here is a mini contest: Make this salad in your kitchen (you can use bacon instead of pancetta if you want). Take the best photos and tell me how you like this salad. Please email me at Ginafoodiewinelover@gmail.com and write under the subject line: Lyonnaise Salad Contest. A winner will be picked on Monday, April 10th, 2017 by 6:00 PM Eastern time. The one with the best photos and caption will be featured on my Instagram profile and will be seen (world-wide). Every participant MUST have an Instagram account set on public settings. You must follow me on Instagram and tag 2 friends under the comment line. This can come later, after you enter and submit your photos.
Disclaimer: WordPress, Instagram and its affiliates are NOT sponsoring this contest and shall be released from all responsibilities and liabilities that may occur from this contest. By entering this contest, you also agree to hold harmless Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover. Let the fun begin!
Happy Cooking! Good Luck!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur