If you want to channel the flavors of France, then this salad (or salade!) is the one to be eating. That’s exactly why I chose it to be on the menu of my “French-Themed” Mother’s Day Luncheon this year.
It’s smoky, mustard-based vinaigrette taming the bitterness of the frisee and the chewy lardons of pork make this salad truly tempting.
The mothers in my life don’t care for “jammy” eggs, so you’ll see I deferred to their tastes when making this dish. Otherwise, I would advise keeping the cooking time down to make your eggs dark yellow and still a bit creamy. It’s the French way!
I’m a confirmed Francophile and love everything French. In fact, I’m currently working on turning our mountain “cabin” into a French Country masterpiece. We’ll see how that goes…
Kidding aside, when it comes to the French, they know how to make an incredible salad. DO NOT under any circumstances decide to make this recipe and use bacon strips from a one-pound package. Make some BLT’s for dinner instead.
So why is this little stick of pork so yummy? Strip bacon from the package can be too fatty and can crumble upon cooking. But, lardons are perfectly juicy, salty sticks of cured pork. Lardons are a key ingredient in this a Salade Lyonnaise along with the French classics, coq au vin and beef bourguinon.
I insist you pick up a piece of slab bacon from the grocer and slice the batons yourself. To cut them by hand, slice slab bacon into ¼” strips. Cook them slowly over medium heat until most of the fat has rendered out.
Stick around and keep an eye on them, because the difference between juicy lardons and bitter bacon bits is just a few moments away. I promise, you’ll be so happy that you did, the difference is amazingly delicious!
To keep the French theme going I decided to try and make my Salade Lyonnaise a bit more special for Mother’s Day.
Croutons are basically rebaked chunks of bread that have been flavored with oil or butter and seasoned with herbs, dry cheeses, or spices.
A sturdy, hearty loaf of bread makes the best croutons. The airy crumb allows air to circulate and keeps the insides soft with a crunchy crisped crust that adds texture to any dish or salad.
But, don’t feel totally limited if you have other kinds of bread you’d like to try. Ciabatta, country french rolls, any good quality bakery bread will be perfect.
I decided I would sauté them in the rendered lardon fat, butter, Fleur de Sel sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and Herbs de Provence. I could just taste them crunching against the chewy lardons and bitter greens. YUM!
The directions are right on the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Want to see what else in on the menu of my Mother’s Day Luncheon? Let’s check it out…
Celebrating Mother’s Day this year will be festive and delightfully delicious when hosting a “French-Themed” lunch to honor the mothers in your life.
Doesn’t the Salade Lyonnaise with Herbs de Provence Croutons look wonderful as part of this fabulous ladies luncheon menu?
Here’s what is on the menu of my fabulously French Mother’s Day Luncheon:
But what about dessert? You can’t have a bunch of gals together without serving dessert, right?
Here’s the two desserts I chose to be the “sweet endings” to my fabulous Mother’s Day Luncheon. I’ll serve both with an assortment of teas to wind down what is sure to be a lovely afternoon.
The first is a light and moist Pink Grapefruit Chiffon Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Yes, I know it’s PINK!
I finished the cake off with some delightful sugar flowers and leaves I purchased on Amazon last year. They last forever if kept in a dry, dark and cool location.
It turned out so lovely with three luscious layers, just aching for some White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. Depending on the size of cake pan you use, you’ll have 2 or 3 layers, so you will need 6 whole cups of frosting for this cake. (that’s exactly how much my recipe makes!)
Now, for the second Mother’s Day Luncheon dessert, I knew any gaggle of women would be looking around, waiting for the chocolate to appear! So as not to disappoint, I’ve also included a lovely Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème on the menu.
It’s densely chocolate, with a hint of citrus that gives it a new level of sophistication. In keeping with the party’s pink color-scheme, and the pink grapefruit cake, I garnished them with Candied Pink Grapefruit slices. They are amazingly addictive, so be careful to save enough for your presentation!
I finished the Chocolate Grand Marnier Pots de Crème with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and fresh mint. Don’t they look lovely? And they taste even better!
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPES:
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PLATED SALAD -
1. Divide greens between 6 salad plates. Top each plate with bacon and one egg and some croutons. Drizzle with dressing or it serve along side.
PLATTERED SALAD -
2. Take platter from refrigerator and top with bacon, eggs and croutons. Drizzle with dressing or serve it along side.
If you can't find frisee, or it's too bitter for you, try red radicchio, escarole, arugula or a bistro salad mix.
You can either toss the greens with the dressing then divide between plates, or drizzle the dressing over the finished salad.