[10] Salade Aux Lardons Salad with Poached Egg and Warm Bacon Dressing

Cooking for Two: 120 Recipes for Every Day and Those Special Nights

Holy cow, guys! We’ve hit double digits in recipes made, and we’re only eight days into June! Admittedly, that’s because we started making recipes on 31 May 2010, but even with that, we’ve made more dishes than days we’ve been tracking. Which is amazing in and of itself, because we like to eat out, but also because we’ve had two nights in these past ten where we’ve had to punt and cook something else (like frozen ravioli). Of course, this is the wonders of having a backlog (and having started the day before the first of June), but I’ll take it.

Editor’s Note: Yes, I’m aware this didn’t get posted until 15 June 2010. I forgot it was sitting there in “Draft” form. My apologies.

This recipe title is pretty self-explanatory, eh? Salad, poached egg, bacon dressing. Sounds hard to go wrong.

Taste-wise, it was a true winner. Bill and I both loved it. The recipe is supposed to make only enough for two, and it did, but it was generous portions. Basically, we both had a salad, and then a second salad with no egg on top. For the record, that second salad is good, but the egg really makes it.


1/2 lb slab bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces (We used normal bacon, since that’s what we had on hand.)
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (We used about a quarter of a vidalia onion. Again, that’s what we had on hand.)

1 1/2tbsp white wine vinegar

1/4 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (It should be noted that we use the pepper that moved in with Bill. I don’t think it’s purely black pepper.)

2 large eggs, at room temperature (No joke.)

1 small head frisée or curly endive, torn into bite-sized pieces (The book says this will be about 9 oz of lettuce or 3 packed cups. Also, we used the lettuce from the CSA. I’m sure that surprises exactly no one.)


Spread the bacon pieces evenly in a medium skillet, then place over low heat. Let it sit until it sizzles, then sauté until it is “crispy and irresistible”. Keep the heat low to render out the fat as much as possible. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, keeping the fat in the pan.

Increase the heat to medium, add the shallot and cook until fragrant. At this point, remove from heat and whisk in the 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar, the mustard, honey and pepper. Keep mixing until the dressing has thickened and turned “slightly opaque” and has emulsified. Set it aside and keep warm.

Crack the eggs into small bowls or teacups or something like that (we used individually-sized ramekins). Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with water, then bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp of white-wine vinegar, then gently slide the eggs into the pan. Cover and cook until the yolks are just set.

While the eggs are cooking, divide the lettuce between two dinner plates and top it with the bacon. Once the eggs are done, use a slotted spoon to place one egg on top of each prepared salad. Whisk the dressing one last time, then drizzle half over each salad.

Devour like voracious wolves. Remember, wolves are omnivores!

Cooking and consumption notes


This was actually so nice and easy. The book marks it as a “medium length” amount of preparation, and I’d say that’s probably about right. The toughest part is remembering to pull the eggs out of the fridge (if that’s where you store them) early enough for them to come to room temperature before poaching them.

I would try to get slab bacon if ever I made this again, I have to admit. I’d never heard of it before this recipe, and I did a Google search (both normal and images) to figure out what it was. I’m still not entirely clear on if it’s normal belly-bacon that simply hasn’t been sliced (which is what the images make it look like), or if there’s something slightly more to it (as maybe Wikipedia seemed to say). I imagine it would cook faster, and possibly render out less fat.

I imagine an actual shallot would taste better in this recipe too, given they tend to be sweeter than your average onion. Admittedly, we used a vidalia onion, so that probably helped offset some of the lack of sweet in an onion. Of course, it’s also hard to gauge how much of an onion is equivalent to one shallot, but that didn’t so much phase us.

The eggs made a huge mess in the pan. I cannot tell you how happy I was that I used one of the two non-stick Teflon pans Bill brought into the relationship. I think bringing them to room temperature was supposed to negate some or all of this, but I just don’t know. It was, however, quite worth it. The only problem with the eggs was that I cooked them for the 3 minutes the recipe called for, and the yolks were overdone (in my opinion). They still were somewhat runny, but I would have liked them a little runnier. So know your stove and have a good sense of timing (which I will learn through this challenge). Seriously, the runny yolk we did have totally made the dish.


The recipe calls for dinner-sized plates. Do that. Don’t be like us and use largeish bowls that aren’t really enough for all the lettuce you shredded. If you do that, then you’ll have to go back for seconds, and you won’t have a delicious egg to put on top of the second salad. It’s not exactly a tragedy (especially if you slightly overcooked the egg, like I did), but it is sad.

Be cognizant of the fact that the dressing’s base is bacon fat, and plan accordingly if you’re on a diet. I don’t know how, exactly, one would track the calories of something like this in a SparkPeople/LiveStrong/MyPlate/Weight Watchers/Whatever tracker, since most people drain off the bacon fat before eating bacon. However, don’t skimp on the dressing, because it’s really quite good. Just plan for it.

Honestly, I suspect the dressing makes enough for more than 3 packed cups of lettuce, but I would not try to cool it and use it later. It’s not intended to make leftovers (and we didn’t have any), so I can’t imagine it the next day. Except I imagine it looking like spiced, oniony, not-clear bacon fat in your fridge if you do save it, and I imagine that looking a bit yucky. I certainly know that I don’t save my bacon fat for anything in particular, so it tends to look gross enough with all the brown specks and such that end up in it as well. Adding onions and spices to the mix sounds like a recipe for something that’s going to sit in the fridge for ages until somebody finally gets fed up and tosses it.

All I’m trying to say is that, if it looks like too much dressing for 3 packed cups of lettuce to you, invite a friend over and poach a third egg and feed them salad too. Or have really, really big salads (but only increase the amount of veggies, so it stays in the ballpark of healthful).

2 thoughts on “[10] Salade Aux Lardons Salad with Poached Egg and Warm Bacon Dressing

  1. You could estimate tracking the bacon fat by calling it oil. Calorically speaking, it’s all liquid fat.

Comments are closed.