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Salade Lyonnaise

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The ultimate ham and eggs is a salad.

This traditional French salade Lyonnaise recipe will make you a salad true believer. These crisp frisée greens get tossed with thick-cut bacon, warm vinaigrette, and topped with a soft poached egg. The result is a simple salad that marries satisfaction and elegance.

salade Lyonnaise with bacon, frisée and poached egg on top
Salade Lyonnaise is served warm and fresh. The runny yellow yolk from the poached egg adds extra creaminess to the dressing.

What Is Salade Lyonnaise?French Frisée Salad With Bacon Lardons

It’s no secret that bacon and eggs are a quintessential combination, a marriage as successful as peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, or Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

While ham and eggs taste delicious in just about any combination, the French have really mastered the high art of ham and egg cookery — this ham and cheese galette complète, for example. Or quiche Lorraine.

Or this salad.

Salade Lyonnaise is a traditional French salad — originating in Lyon, France — that marries flavor, elegance, and comforting satisfaction. To make this salade Lyonnaise recipe, start with fresh frisée greens, toss with warm bacon vinaigrette and thick-cut lardons, and top with a simple poached egg. This is a salad that will both impress and satisfy.

Salade Lyonnaise Recipe French Frisée Salad
The world’s most satisfying green salad? My vote is a yes.

Frisée Basics: What is frisée? Why use it? What greens to substitute if I can’t find frisée?

Frisée is a curly-leaf endive. Frisée, a member of the chicory family (escarole, radicchio, Belgian endive), has a more delicate leaf and milder flavor than some of the other, more hearty chicories. It has a lightly bitter flavor and soft, feathery leaf.

frisée lettuce cut into pieces
Trim the stump from the frisée, then cut or tear the greens into pieces. Rinse well and dry.

Frisée isn’t everywhere; I can usually find it at Whole Foods and farmers markets. But if you see it, grab it and make this!

If you can’t find frisée and would still like to make this salade Lyonnaise recipe, I would substitute frisée with arugula (also known as rocket). It’s a little more delicate, but carries the same peppery flavor and mild bitterness. Some people suggest escarole or dandelion greens as the closest substitute to frisée, but I do not think the texture or flavor of these greens work as well as arugula for this salad. Dandelion, in particular, is too bitter and wilts very easily.

French frisée salad with warm bacon vinaigrette

How to Poach an Egg for This Frisée Salad

Poaching an egg is so easy. Don’t be intimidated. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Bring water to a gentle simmer in a pot (never a boil). Add a splash of vinegar to the water. The acid keeps the egg white tight together instead of feathering out into the water.
  2. Use a big spoon to swirl the water into a little whirlpool. Crack the egg and release it into the middle of the whirlpool.
  3. Let the egg simmer gently for about two-and-a-half to three minutes for a runny yolk.
  4. Use a small strainer or slotted spoon to lift the poached egg out of the water onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

When the poached egg breaks over the salad and the warm yolk runs through the greens and combines with the bacon…well, you’re in for a treat.

You may also like: How to Soft-Boil an Egg

ingredients for French Lyonnaise salad recipe
Simple ingredients combine to make a traditional salade Lyonnaise

Salade Lyonnaise: Recipe Tips

Don’t dress the greens until right before you serve the salad. This is true of virtually all salads, since dressing will start to wilt the greens, but especially with a warm dressing, as here.

Make sure the frisée is clean and perfectly dry before making the salad. You always want very dry greens when you make salad. Otherwise, the dressing will not cling to the greens and the flavor will be blah. I generally am not in favor of single-use kitchen appliances (especially bulky ones), but I do love this salad spinner.

bacon lardons in frying pan
Cook the bacon pieces until golden brown but not crispy.

Recipe Ingredients

To make this Lyonnaise salad, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • One large head of frisée or two smaller heads (enough for about 4 or 5 generous handfuls of greens). Frisée is also known as French curly endive.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces thick uncured bacon, cut into 1/2-inch wide pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar (plus a splash more to poach the eggs)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I prefer grain mustard and use Maille brand)
  • 1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, optional (about 6 to 8 fingerling potatoes)
  • Salt and pepper

cooked bacon lardons an frisée greens

Recipe Instructions

This French frisée salad with warm bacon vinaigrette ties with Zuni Café’s Caesar salad for my favorite salads of all time. You’ll want to have the greens prepped and ready in a large bowl. Once you get started cooking, the steps will go fairly quickly and you want to serve the salad warm.

  1. Prepare the frisée by removing the stump and washing and drying the leaves very well. Tear or chop the frisée into pieces. You don’t have to shred it; just make the leaves bite-sized.
  2. If adding fingerling potatoes to the salad, wash them well and boil in well-salted water until fork tender (about 10 minutes). Drain. Toss with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cut each fingerling potato into a few pieces and set aside.
  3. Refill the pot with fresh water and bring to a gentle simmer. Use a spoon to create a whirlpool with the water and crack one egg into the center of the whirlpool. Poach the eggs, one at a time, for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  4. In a large skillet, while the eggs are poaching if you’d like to multitask, cook the bacon pieces over medium-low heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is cooked and tinged golden. (Now is not the time for crispy, well-done bacon; we want luxurious golden lardons, not crispy bacon bits.)
  5. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel. Pour off some of the bacon fat as needed, but you need about 4 tablespoons remaining.
  6. Add the vinegar, shallot, mustard, and a few twists of black pepper to the skillet with the remaining bacon grease. Cook for about one minute, stirring to combine into a warm vinaigrette. Remove from heat. Toss in the pieces of fingerling potato, if using.
  7. The French frisée salad will come together quickly now. When the eggs have finished poaching, toss the vinaigrette with the frisée greens and most of the bacon (and potato) pieces. Divide among four plates. Add a poached egg to the top of each salad, and garnish the top with the remaining bacon lardons and potatoes, if using. Serve immediately.
bacon, fingerling potatoes, and warm bacon vinaigrette in pan
Make the bacon vinaigrette right in the pan and toss with the bacon and fingerling potatoes.

Love this Salade Lyonnaise recipe? You may also like:

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Authentic French Salade Lyonnaise recipe

Salade Lyonnaise

Salade Lyonnaise is a traditional French salad made by tossing frilly frisée greens with a warm bacon vinaigrette, topped with a poached egg for a sophisticated, unctuous result. It's incredibly satisfying, and so tasty.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: dinner, lunch, Salad
Cuisine: French
Keywords:: bacon, French, frisée, Lyonnaise, salad
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 507kcal
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Ingredients

  • 1 large head frisée (French curly endive)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 ounces thick-cut, uncured bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot (about one small shallot)
  • 4 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar, plus a splash more for the egg poaching water
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain (I use Maille brand)
  • 6 to 8 fingerling potatoes
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare the frisée: Remove the stump. Tear or chop the frisée into pieces and wash and dry the leaves. Place the frisée in a large mixing bowl. (I love this OXO salad spinner for lettuce prep.)
    PRO TIP: You'll want to have the greens prepped and ready in the mixing bowl. Once you get started cooking, the steps will go fairly quickly and you want to serve the salad warm. Make sure the salad greens are dry or it won't hold the vinaigrette.
  • If adding fingerling potatoes to the salad, wash the potatoes well and boil them in well-salted water in a small pot until fork tender (about 10 minutes). Cut each fingerling potato into a few pieces and set aside.
  • Fill a small pot with water. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and add a little splash of vinegar. Use a spoon to create a whirlpool in the water. Crack one egg into the center of the whirlpool. Poach the eggs, one at a time, for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Remove each egg with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
    PRO TIP: Why add vinegar to the poaching liquid? The acid helps keep the egg white proteins tightly connected and able to congeal quickly, leading to a neater poached egg.
  • In a skillet -- while the eggs are poaching if you'd like to multitask -- cook the bacon pieces over medium-low heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon is cooked and tinged golden. Remove the bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel. Pour off some of the bacon fat as needed, but you need about 4 tablespoons remaining.
    PRO TIP: Now is not the time for well-done bacon; we want luxurious golden lardons, not crispy bacon bits.
  • Add the vinegar, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, and a few twists of black pepper to the skillet with the remaining bacon grease. Cook for about one minute, stirring to combine into a warm vinaigrette. Remove from heat. Toss in the pieces of fingerling potato, if using, but do not overmix or the potatoes could break apart.
  • The salad will come together quickly now. When the eggs have finished poaching, toss the warm vinaigrette with the bowl of frisée greens and most of the bacon (and potato) pieces. Divide among four plates. Add a poached egg to the top of each salad, and garnish the top with the remaining bacon lardons and potatoes, if using. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 507kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 418mg | Potassium: 1.754mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3.492IU | Vitamin C: 77mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition information is provided for courtesy purposes only, and is an estimate not verified by medical or nutrition experts. Read the full nutrition disclaimer.

4 comments

  • 5 stars
    This salad was just delicious. It felt very satisfying, like a whole meal. I thought that it might not be enough dressing, but I think that it was just enough because the flavors are strong from the bacon and egg.

  • 5 stars
    Fantastic! No changes.

  • Jill Harpeth

    5 stars
    I’ve ordered this at a French bistro near my home but never thought to make it at home! I am so glad for this recipe and look forward to making it!

  • 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I substituted half of the bacon grease with olive oil to make it a little healthier, but that’s it. Wonderful salad.

5 from 4 votes

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