Friday, September 13, 2013

Salad Lyonnaise – A Super Salad from a City of Meat

How great is Salad Lyonnaise? Lyon is considered the meat capital of France, and yet the city’s most famous, and reproduced dish is probably this simple frisee salad. Now that’s some delicious irony.

Don’t worry…this salad is far from vegan. The mildly bitter greens are dressed in a shallot and Dijon dressing, it’s spiked with a generous handful of crispy lardons, or bacon in my case, and topped with a runny egg.

By the way, unless you’re some kind of crazy person, you’re going to need some crispy croutons or crostini to finish this masterpiece off. Here’s a link to the ones I used for this, sans Parmigiano-Reggiano. You’ll also want to taste and adjust the dressing to your liking. I use a 2-to-1, oil to vinegar ratio, as I think you need some acidity to cut the richness of the bacon and egg yolk, but you may not want it as sharp.

As I joked about in the video, this is so tasty, it may be the only salad that has a chance to be picked as someone’s last meal. There’s good, and then there’s death row good. Anyway, I’ve been dying to film this old favorite, and I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

For 4 generous portions:
2 heads frisee lettuce, aka curly endive, or use arugula
8 oz bacon (or pancetta if you want to experience something closer to real lardons)
4 large eggs
1 tbsp chives
For the dressing (makes extra, about 3/4 cup total):
1 generous tbsp minced shallots
1 generous tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 cup lightly flavored olive oil


Roberto said...

When I can't get curly endive for a similar salad I make, I use Belgian endive or a mixture of Belgian endive and escarole. It's not an exact substitute of course, but it is in the same chicory family and much closer in flavor than arugula

Anonymous said...

So....why does Lyonnaise denote the use of onions in dish????

efe said...

im droolin :D

Panda and Mango said...

I haven't had this salad in forever! I'm going to make this next week.

Question: If one were to make a warm version of the dressing using some of the bacon grease, would the frisee hold up to it? Or would it get too wilty?

Matthew said...

Ah Chef John,

It is a pleasure to see your most handsomely dapper face in the reflection of the mixing bowl.

It does add a great deal of sophisticated "realness" to the fact you actually make the meal, not just provide the voice over.

Chef John said...

Jason, not sure! We'd have to ask Escoffier ;)

Panda, yes, this holds up to a warm dressing!

Matt, now you can see why I don't appear on camera. ;)

PhillyBear said...

one of my favorites!and as always, so funny: "we are gonna fork that egg right in the yolk". cracking up. I have made this (well, a version of it) many times. i always love your videos, Chef!

Unknown said...

I have had this in France and also here in DC. I have tried to make the dressing but it never turned out right. Thank you for letting me in on the secret. I am very happy to have this dressing in my arsenal. And as always, I will enjoy!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what rand of knives you have, Im looking to get some new knives and am overwhelmed by the amount of knives available, so if you could suggest knives you have used and liked that would be great!

Chef John said...

Sorry, I don't do specific recommendations, but I have a mix of all the major brands, and they pretty much work about the same. Just be sure they're forged knives with the metal going all the way through the handle.

sentenso said...

"they have a different word for everything" thats nice

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John,

I just stumbled upon your site and I am excited to try some of your fantastic looking dishes! I watched a video on and burst out laughing at a joke you had made (about taking credit for other peoples recipes since we do it to you all the time). You sound like such a fun person, thank you for sharing your knowledge and your sense of humour!

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John!

I just stumbled across your site after watching one of your videos on I burst out laughing at a joke you made (about taking credit for other peoples recipes since they do it to you all the time). You sound like such a fun person, thank you for sharing your knowledge and sense of humour! Can't wait to try the raw kale salad and brussels sprouts salad, among others.

shesfiction said...

As someone that doesn't really like eggs and only ever eats caesar salad I really had no business watching this video. However, in under 7 mins and 30 seconds you managed to convince me that this dish is totally appealing and an excellent use of the shallots left in my fridge from making creamed spinach. Thank you for introducing picky eaters everywhere to a world of food we would have otherwise turned our noses up at after just reading the ingredient list. Keep up the excellent work!

Anonymous said...

After working our way through six heads of romaine lettuce purchased at Costco, my wife commented that she needed a different salad for dinner. Your Salad Lyonnaise immediately came to mind.

I made this tonight for my wife and me to accompany a humble dinner of leftover pizza.

I didn't have sherry vinegar so I used champagne vinegar and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (I don't know why, really, other than it seemed like a good idea at the time). The dressing was good (a bit too tart, but that could have been my vinegar) and the salad was great. (I used pancetta because I happened to have some, and can neither confirm nor deny whether I fried the eggs in the pork fat rather than poaching to avoid cleaning an extra pot).

Chef John, I guess it could be an optical illusion, but watching the video it seems like the proportions given in the written recipe don't match what was done on camera -- it definitely looks like 2 tbsp of Dijon, to maybe 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup oil.

This makes a crazy amount of dressing, by the way. To be fair, the written recipe does say "makes extra" and I should have been able to figure out that 1.5 cups of dressing would be enough for a couple weeks, but I would suggest to anyone reading this that you consider halving the oil and vinegar unless you are feeding an army.

Anyway, despite the minor issues I had, this is a great recipe for a fairly substantial salad and a nice break from our usual salad routine. Thank you Chef John!

Chef John said...

You may be right, could be a typo. I don't measure mustard so it may be more, but it looks like 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup oil! Thanks!

Lidi Linda said...

Chef John:
Ever since I watched this video I haven't been able to get this salad out of my head so finally tonight I was able to make and savor this wonderful recipe. Thank you, Chef John. It was everything you said it would be and more :)

Don Gringo said...

I suck in the kitchen but thanks to you I banged out this salad right quick and it was AWESOME! thanks for everything you do!

Chippy said...

This looks spot on, and I lived and ate in Lyon for four years so I'm not easy to please.

It may be a salad from Lyon, but notice how the Lyonnais even manage to sneak a little bit of meat into their salads!

Chris Juricich said...

Haha. I just made a salad lyonnaise tonight. Half a head of frisée, lardons from a single piece of slab bacon, and a vinaigrette of red vinegar, Dijon mustard, and the warmed oil. Oh, and the poached duck egg. Yah, duck, it's how I poach, man.

Carole said...

Got here from the Brutus salad, which sounds amazing by the way.

If you like the Lyonnaise, you should really try the Périgourdine, John.

Simplest way is to replace half the lardons from the Lyonnaise with some confited duck giblets, cooking the pork & duck together in the duck fat from the confit.

Throw in some roasted pine nuts and you have a Périgourdine. Enjoy! ;)

lcm said...

thanks for this recipe. I adapted it this evening -- made the vinagrette (mmmm) and then used roasted parsnips and cauliflower cause I don't eat pork. Also didn't have frisse so I used spinach.

So actually not really this salad.

but soooo good. Mostly cause of the vinegrette, the poached egg and the fact that everything I make from your blog turns out fun.

thanks -- you are awesome and really cheer me up.