Salade Lyonnaise with Belgian Endive

One of my fond memories of my trip to Lyon, France was a tiny bistro (called a bouchon) that served delicious saucisson sec and cheese plates piled high, garnished with tart, tiny cornichons and truffled mustard. Two hour lunch? When in France, do as the French. Wine in the middle of the day? You bet! We’re on vacation after all. And it was accompanied with a delightfully airy salad – refreshing, crunchy, bitter, sour, sweet, salty, umami – let’s press ALL the buttons please. Plus, it’s topped with bacon. Need I say more?

A very popular salad in France, Salade Lyonnaise is traditionally served with feathery frisée, but that can be hard to find here in the States. Crisp romaine and Belgian endive make fantastic stand-ins.

Endive is a group of bitter, leafy-green vegetables with a lot of confusion in their categorization and naming. Some people refer to endive as the firmly-packed Belgian endive (Cichorium intybus), which is the leafy portion of the chicory root plant, which you may be familiar with as a common coffee substitute.  Others will refer to curly endive, or frisée (Cichorium endivia crispum),  which are also called “chicory greens” in the United States. Escarole (Cichorium endivia latifolia) is also part of this family. All have similar nutritional benefits and flavor profiles, and can typically be substituted for one another in dishes.

Unlike most leafy greens, Belgian endive is grown entirely without sunlight to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening. It’s an excellent source of Vitamins K, A, E, manganese, folate (along with a hefty amount of other Bs), as well as fiber.

Romaine lettuce might feel “ordinary” but it’s a powerhouse green, offering ample amounts of Vitamin K, A, folate, and molybdenum.

Both greens are beneficial for healthy cardiovascular, digestive, and detoxification systems due to their high vitamin content, fiber, and antioxidant properties.

I love to prepare this dish at home – it’s great for lunch, but hearty enough to serve as a light dinner. It fits into many dietary restrictions, and it’s simple and quick to make, with easily-sourced ingredients. Plus, it’s gorgeous when plated. Enjoy!

 
 

Salade Lyonnaise with Belgian Endive
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

A very popular salad in France, Salade Lyonnaise is traditionally served with feathery frisée, but that can be hard to find. Crisp romaine and Belgian endive make fantastic stand-ins.

Course: Light Meal, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4
Calories: 242 kcal
Ingredients
  • 6 slices uncured sugar-free bacon
  • 2 medium heads Belgian endive , preferably red, tightly packed
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups romaine lettuce , torn into small pieces
  • 4 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Place bacon slices onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, until nicely crisp. Drain off the grease into a small container, and remove the bacon slices to a towel-lined plate to drain while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. Slice off about 1/2" of the base of the endive heads, then slice through the widest middle part, separating the stem and tip ends. Quarter the pretty tip ends lengthwise to make long "spears". Set these aside. Chop the remaining endive and the romaine into bite-size pieces.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Add the mustard, vinegar, olive oil, pepper and salt to a pint-size mason jar or medium bowl. Add about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to this mixture, then whisk well to combine.
  4. To poach the eggs: Use a deep saucepan or large, deep skillet. Fill it 3/4 of the way with water (you want it at least 2-3 inches deep, or the length of your finger). Add a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar (the vinegar helps the egg to coagulate more quickly, preventing "feathery" whites).
  5. Crack your eggs into individual ramekins or small bowls (resist the urge to crack your eggs directly into the pan).
  6. Bring the water to a soft boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Gently pour each egg into the water - you may want to work with just two in the pan at a time. Let them cook through for about 3-4 minutes. Lift each egg out with a slotted spoon. A perfectly soft-poached egg will have just a slight wobble when shaken on the spoon - not too jiggly, and not too firm. Place the eggs onto a towel-lined plate to dry.
  7. Crumbled the cooled bacon and set aside.
  8. In a medium mixing bowl, add the chopped romaine and endive (not the spears) and mix together with half of the dressing and half of the crumbled bacon. Portion out into serving bowls and garnish with the endive spears. Drizzle over more dressing, and top with the remaining crumbled bacon, a poached egg, and a bit of fresh-cracked pepper. Serve immediately.
  9. Any remaining dressing can be stored for up to 1 week in the fridge.
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