Daily Archives: 5 May 2017
Hearty salads for dinner are a house favorite. I don’t usually follow a recipe, using the bits and pieces leftover in the refrigerator, but for this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, a French bistro classic, I followed the rules.
Salade Lyonnaise is bacon-and-eggs in salad form with a heavy dose of garlic thrown in. There are many components, but many of them can be prepared ahead, making it easy to pull together for a weeknight meal.
The base of the salad is frisée, AKA curly endive. At first I couldn’t find any, just green heads labelled “chicory” which resembled a coarser form of frisée. Doing a Google search in the market, I learned that the chicory I found along with frisée and escarole are all in the same botanical genus, but curly endive and escarole are more closely related, being the same species, Cichorium endivia, with different leafing habits: one with lacy leaves and the other broad leaves. I decided to go with the escarole, but then came across curly endive in another section of the store. In the end, I bought both and made the salad with a mix of the two.
My favorite part of the salad was the garlicky croutons. A crushed clove of garlic is cooked in a generous amount of olive oil to flavor it. Then the bread cubes are sautéed in the resulting garlic oil until they are golden brown and fragrant. I often make croutons to have on hand for Caesar salads, but compared to these croutons, I’d have to dub my usual technique as spartan croutons because they are simply cubes of bread toasted in the oven with no oil or seasoning.
Boiled baby potatoes, bacon, and dressing round out the ingredients that can be prepared ahead.
When it’s time for dinner, the salad can be assembled: endive, sliced potatoes, bacon, croutons, and that garlicky dressing. In the meantime, it’s time to poach the eggs. At my house, that’s Howard’s job because he’s an expert, making dinner is a team effort. I toss the salad and fill individual salad bowls so that they’re ready to be topped with the eggs after they are cooked and dried off.
We had it two nights in a row, adding some leftover grilled asparagus for the encore appearance. The final verdict was two thumbs up. We both really enjoyed this one. You should try it too.
Enjoy! Bon Appetit!