I visited my local Farmers Market in Central Square the other day. Yes, yes, I know I belong to a CSA, and I really really don’t need any more vegetables than the bounty that I get every week. But it was so hard to resist, and when I started walking along the stands and seeing such beautiful produce, I couldn’t help myself. I ended up buying tons of stuff, including some beautiful tomatoes, amazing locally-made burrata, and some fresh corn.
The summer harvest is so bountiful right now. This is really the perfect time to enjoy vegetables at the peak of their flavor.
Salade Lyonnaise (Frisee aux Lardons) is a traditional French bistro salad that consists of bacon, poached eggs, and bitter greens (usually frisee). I decided to take advantage of the bountiful summer vegetables that are in season right now to create my own take on this delicious salad.
The basics are the same, but I’ve added some summer twists, such as fresh corn, basil infused tomatoes, and sliced avocados.
I was inspired to do this when Olivia’s Organics contacted me and asked whether I would be interested in submitting a recipe to their Summer Harvest Recipe Contest. I’m a huge fan of fresh, leafy green vegetables, and I try to buy organic vegetables when I can.
I was really pleased to find out that Olivia’s Organics is a local company based out of Chelsea, Massachusetts, that sells USDA certified organic salad mixes to the local area. They care about their community, and donate a portion of their proceeds to local children’s charities. Furthermore, the plastic clamshell boxes in which the salad is sold are made out of 50% recycled plastic.
I happily agreed to try creating a recipe with Olivia’s Organics salad. I started out with the traditional salade Lyonnaise ingredients and basically added all of Bryan’s favorite ingredients to the salad. Maybe I should call this Salade Bryannaise, since he also loves bacon and runny eggs.
Salad Lyonnaise (with a summer twist) a.k.a Salade Bryannaise
Place the slices on the plate and sprinkle kosher salt on top of each slice. Sprinkle each tomato with some chopped basil. Let sit for ~10 minutes to allow ample tomato flavor molecules to be released.
Making the Dressing
Cook bacon over medium heat until crispy and most of the fat is rendered (about 10 minutes). Remove the bacon slices, place on paper towels, and set aside. Add shallots to the rendered bacon fat and saute for about 1 minute. Mix together red wine vinegar and dijon mustard in a separate container and then whisk this mixture into the bacon fat/shallot mixture in the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the greens with the dressing and set aside
Poaching the Egg
Bring a pot of water just under boiling. Add about 1 T vinegar to the water mixture. Crack an egg and place it in a small cup. Gently slide the egg into the water and let it cook for 2-3 minutes (2 minutes for a pretty runny egg) . Remove immediately with a slotted spoon and gently place on top of the salad.
If you want to get a nicely shaped poached egg, you can slowly lower the rim of the cup into the hot water (letting some water into the cup). Keep the egg inside the cup for the first 30 second or so (until the whites start to turn opague), and then slowly pouring the rest of the egg into the hot water).
Arrange the sliced tomatoes, sliced avocados, and corn around the bed of greens (which have already been dressed with the bacon, shallot, mustard vinaigrette). Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top of the greens. Top with croutons and sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. You can optionally add cheese as well, such as crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.
A traditional salad Lyonnaise only has greens, the bacon vinaigrette, and the poached egg. You typically want greens that are a little bitter (like arugula, frisee, or dandelion greens). I found that Olivia’s Organics Herb Salad mix worked best for this recipe because it includes a nice variety of bitter greens. You can be creative with the “additional ingredients” and there is no need to add all the same ones that I added. Be creative with what’s available from your garden, what catches your eye at the farmers market, or what your spouse likes. During this season, things taste the best if they are in season and fresh, so feel free to experiment!
Make your own version of Salade Bryannaise.
As a food blogger, time to time I receive products from vendors to try out, to review, etc. The Olivia’s Organics Herb Salad was provided by Olivia’s Organics as part of their Summer Harvest Recipe Contest. The views expressed in the posts are completely my own.
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