Known as Salade Lyonnaise in French, this filling and flavorful salad is made with crispy bacon lardons, warm toasted croutons, and poached egg on a bed of bitter frisée lettuce tossed with mustardy vinaigrette!
This frisée salad is like a very sophisticated breakfast for dinner. The warm, crispy bacon, poached egg, toasty croutons, and bitter frisée lettuce really come together in a magical way!
What makes this frisée salad extra special is the warm bacon lardons and croutons. I like to first render the bacon in a hot pan, then use the leftover fat to brown torn pieces of day-old bread to make the croutons. The result is decadent but worth every bite!
I promise you’ll never tire of this classic French salad. It’s one I personally make again and again. It’s the perfect meal all on it’s own or serve it in a smaller portion alongside other French-inspired recipes like: Creamy Mushroom Chicken or Vegetarian French Onion Soup.
Ingredients You’ll Need
All you need to make this recipe is a few simple ingredients: frisée lettuce, you can add in some escarole too if you like or use all frisée, slices of thick-cut bacon or an 8 oz piece of slab bacon, eggs, day old bread for croutons, shallot, chives, mustard (whole grain and dijon), vinegar and olive oil.
Step 1. Crisp up the Bacon & Croutons
In a hot cast iron pan cook the bacon until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan, leaving behind the fat to cook the croutons.
Step 2. Make the Dressing & Toss the Salad
In a large salad bowl, whisk together the dressing. Toss in the frisée lettuce along with the bacon and croutons. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!
Step 3. Serve
Divide the salad between bowls, top each with a poached egg. Serve immediately!
FAQs and Expert Tips:
Bacon lardons are ¼″ thick by 1″ long strips of bacon cut from a slab of bacon. Unlike regular strip bacon, lardons hold their shape during cooking resulting in a heartier bite of cured pork thats crispy on the outside and meaty on the inside. Lardons are perfect for tossing in salads, quiches or slow-braised stews like Coq au Vin or Beef Bourguignon.
Yes, you can absolutely use a gluten-free bread to make the croutons!
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Frisée Salad with Bacon, Croutons and Poached Egg (Lyonnaise Salad)
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, or 8oz slab bacon cut into ¼-inch lardons
- 2 large eggs
- 2 c torn day-old bread
- 2 heads frisée lettuce or 1 head frisée, 1 head escarole
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 small shallot minced
- ¼ c olive oil
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat then, add in the bacon. Slowly render the bacon, stirring occasionally until crispy and brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan but leaving the fat. Transfer the crispy bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Next, sauté the torn bread in the bacon fat until toasted and golden brown on all sides, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan and transfer it to the paper towel-lined plate along with the bacon.
- Make the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk together the mustard(s), vinegar, shallot, and chives. While whisking, slowly stream in the olive oil, continue whisking until the dressing is completely emulsified.
- Toss the frisée, bacon lardons, and toasted bread with the dressing. Divide between two plates and top each salad with a poached egg. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve immediately!
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to low and bring the water back down to a low simmer. There should just be a few bubbles hitting the surface. Crack each egg into a small cup. One at a time, tip the egg into the barely simmering water. Set a timer for 90 seconds. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat and remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Place it on a paper towel-lined plate until you're ready to use it. Repeat with the second egg.
- Frisée/Escarole: You can use a combination of these two lettuces, both members of the “chicory” family, or simply choose one or the other. It’s really up to you! I’ve had a hard time finding frisée at the market lately, if thats the case I use escarole.
- Bacon: Ideally, you want one large hunk of slab bacon you can cut into thick ¼″ thick lardons. If you can’t find that just use thick-cut bacon slices and cut them down to size.
- Whole Grain Mustard: an extra tbsp of dijon can be substituted for whole grain mustard.
- Vinegar: almost any vinegar would be just fine in this dressing: sherry, red wine, apple cider, champagne etc..
I made this salad for dinner last night and my friends loved it!