The idea of the French bistro is the epitome of delicious French food. Most people don't realize that bistro food is delicious because of its simplicity. Take beef bourgignon: basically a beef stew cooked in red wine. Or steak au poivre: just a good steak covered in peppercorns and grilled with some french fries. One of my favorites, though, is the salade Lyonnaise: frisée or other salad greens with bacon and a poached egg. It's taken me years to realize that bistro food can easily be made at home.
And last night I finally jumped the hurdle that was stopping me from making this particular dish--the dreaded poached egg. And you know what? It was really quite simple! I promise that I'll share my technique with you as soon as I can, but today I'm going to share the salad recipe with you, which is also really quite simple. It takes only about 15 minutes to assemble, and you'll be rewarded with the crisp freshness of a salad with a tart and nutty vinaigrette, salty bacon and the rich gooeyness of a perfectly poached egg.
Paired with some crusty French bread and a glass of dry French rosé, and you'll have a French bistro meal on your table in no time!
Green Salad with Poached Egg, Bacon and Champagne Vinegar and Walnut Oil Vinaigrette
Cook's Notes: You'll have plenty of vinaigrette left to dress your salads for the rest of the week. Feel free to scale down the recipe if you don't want leftovers.
For the salad:
1-2 cups fresh salad greens
2 strips bacon, cut into 1/2" strips and cooked until crispy
1 egg, poached
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ounce (about 1/8 cup) champagne vinegar (or a little more if you like your vinaigrettes a little more acidic, like I do)
1 ounce (about 1/8 cup) fresh lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
10 grinds of black pepper
1 clove of garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
3 ounces (about 1/4 + 1/8 cup) walnut oil
3 ounces (about 1/4 + 1/8 cup) mildly flavored extra virgin olive oil (Don't use your best olive oil here...you want the walnut oil to shine in this vinaigrette.)
To make the vinaigrette:
Combine all of the ingredients in your salad dressing shaker and shake until combined. (Alternatively, you can whisk the ingredients in a small bowl.) Taste and add more salt, vinegar or oil until it reaches your desired taste. Let it sit on the counter for about 15 minutes (which should be about the time it takes to crisp your bacon and poach your egg).
To assemble the salad:
Place the greens in a wide-mouthed bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with the bacon bits. Add the poached egg and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Eat immediately.
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