A classic French salad featuring bitter greens, a warm Dijon vinaigrette, crispy bacon lardons and poached eggs. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner.
What is Lyonnaise Salad?
Also known as salade lyonnaise, this simple yet nuanced salad fails from Lyon France. It strikes the perfect balance between bitter, salty, meaty, tangy, and fatty.
The foundation of this salad is bitter greens. Frisée is best and traditional though escarole and chicory are great additions or stand-ins for frisée. Toss the bitter greens with a warm punchy vinaigrette made right in the pan with crisped bacon lardons.
Top each serving with a poached egg (or two) though fried eggs would also be delicious.
It’s not the simplest salad ever but it is a simple brunch or dinner recipe.
Slab Bacon vs Pancetta vs Ventreche
Lyonnaise salad is traditionally made with ventreche which is pork belly that’s unsmoked, salt cured, and fashioned into a roll. You can learn more about ventreche (pronounced vohn-tresh) here.
Ventreche, often referred to as French pancetta is, not surprisingly, more similar to pancetta than smoked American bacon. For a more traditional French version use pancetta, just make sure you ask the meat counter for a 1/2-inch thick slab.
I like both pancetta and slab bacon for this recipe. The recipe calls for slab bacon because it’s more readily available at grocery stores and butchers here in the US. I also like the smoky flavor it adds. Just make sure to use slab bacon, not pre-sliced bacon which is far too thin for this recipe.
Essentially slab bacon is unsliced regular bacon. Slab bacon is cured and smoked (if you find unsmoked that’s more traditional for this recipe). Slab bacon is sold as a large rectangular slab.
Ingredients in Lyonnaise Salad
- extra-virgin olive oil
- slab bacon or pancetta
- white wine vinegar: tarragon and sherry vinegar are also great here
- Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- frisée and/or escarole: I like a combo of frisée and escarole but you can use one or the other. Chicory, also labeled curly endive, can also be used.
- large eggs
How to Make Lyonnaise Salad
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Crisp the bacon lardons in olive oil.
- Drain excess grease then add shallots and cook until softened.
- Add Dijon and vinegar and stir to combine.
- Off heat, add the greens and toss to coat.
- Add the eggs to the hot water, cover and cook until the whites are set.
- Serve poached eggs over salad.
Variations on the Lyonnaise Salad
- Instead of Dijon mustard, use whole-grain mustard.
- Use pancetta instead of slab bacon.
- Serve with diced roasted potatoes.
- Top the salad with croutons.
- Add fresh herbs such as chives or tarragon to the salad.
- Use red wine vinegar in place of the white wine vinegar for a deeper flavor.
Did you make this Lyonnaise Salad recipe?! Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!Print
A simple salad with bold flavors and textures. Lyonnaise Salad or Salade Lyonnaise is the perfect entrée salad for any meal of the day. Serve this French salad with crusty bread or roasted potatoes for an even heartier meal.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ pound slab bacon or pancetta, cut into lardons
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, tarragon and sherry vinegar are also great here
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ pound frisée and/or escarole, washed, dried and roughly chopped (8 cups total greens)
- 4–8 eggs
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering, add bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, crack eggs into a fine-mesh sieve, let drain 30 seconds, then gently transfer to a liquid measuring cup.
Stir vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt into boiling water. Remove pot from heat, then gently lower liquid measuring cup to just above water and carefully drop eggs into water one at a time, rotating 90-degrees after each addition. Cover pot and let eggs cook 3 minutes until whites are set. If whites are not set after 3 minutes, continue to cook, checking every 30 seconds.
Gently remove each egg with a slotted spoon, allowing water to drain off, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from skillet. Add shallot to skillet with crisped bacon; sauté over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and mustard; scraping up any brown bits.
Remove skillet from heat, add greens and toss to evenly coat. Season salad with salt and a generous amount of cracked pepper. Toss with any reserved bacon grease to taste, optional. Divide salad between four bowl and top each with a poached egg or two.
If you’d rather not use the bacon fat for the dressing, feel free to drain it off and add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet with the cooked bacon pieces (lardons) before adding the shallot.
Keywords: lyonnaise salad, salade lyonnaise, lyonnaise salad recipe