Salade Lyonnaise is a classic French salad, served with a warm poached egg, bitter greens, and a tangy vinaigrette. This traditional salad is typically served with crisp bacon pieces, however, here it’s made vegetarian friendly with crunchy toasted walnuts instead.
Happy Bastille Day!
As I’ve mentioned before, I love all things French.
French food, French wine, French baguettes, French pastries, French cities and quaint French towns, speaking French, French salads…
So does my mom. So when she came to visit we knew we had to make a French meal of sorts, and with Bastille Day so close, how could we not celebrate the beginning of the French Revolution and then the unity of French people?!
Now, I’m really bad at history so please don’t judge me there. But I’m pretty good at drinking wine and making a kickin’ meal for Bastille Day – especially with my mama’s help!
Salade Lyonnaise is gifted to this world from Lyon, France, and is a standard go-to in French bistros. It’s also something my mom consumed frequently while studying in Lyon a few years back. She had an amazing experience there, and I cannot wait to travel to Lyon one day!
Side note: my France adventures (as of now) consist within a little fairytale town called Colmar. It’s also known as “La Petite Venise”. Can you see why? INSTANT LOVE.
Anyway, back to this simple yet delicious salad.
It typically consists of frisée, a poached egg, and lardons (which are cubes of pork, a.k.a. bacon). This means it hits on those salty, bitter, tangy, and smoky flavors, plus the richness of the egg yolk from the barely cooked poached egg.
Now, my mom is a pretty strict vegetarian, and I’m a pretty selective vegetarian, which meant we needed to vegetarian-ise this classic French salad.
We decided to toast some walnuts for the warm, crunchy factor. We stuck with a traditional Lyonnaise dressing – keeping with the tangy and salty aspects. We would have used frisee, had we been able to find it down here in the middle of no where, so we substituted mixed greens instead. The greens included arugula which added a peppery and bitter flavor typical to that in a Salade Lyonnaise.
With the warm poached egg on top of the salad with the toasted walnuts, you wouldn’t think twice about not having bacon on your Salade Lyonnaise.
The broken egg yolk brings a rich creaminess to the salad, the crunch factor is there, and the salty-tang from the dressing gives you the classic Salade Lyonnaise taste.
Of course, I highly recommend serving it (and most everything) with a slice of baguette and a glass of wine. You’ll be transported straight to a sidewalk cafe in Lyon!
For this Bastille Day celebration meal, my mom and I served the Peach Tart for dessert. I’d highly recommend you do the same as well; it’s French meal perfection that is both easy and healthy!
Happy Bastille Day and bon appétit!
Get the Recipe Salade Lyonnaise
- To toast walnuts, place in small saute pan on low-medium heat. Heat for 3-5 minutes until warmed through and toasted. Be careful not to burn!
- To begin dressing, add olive oil to large sautee pan over medium heat. Once hot, add shallot and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add sherry vinegar and mustard; whisk together. Bring to just a boil, stir, and turn off heat. Add lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss lettuce or frisee with dressing and divide onto individual serving plates.
- Add two inches of water in a small sauce pan. Heat to just a simmer or light boil, barley beginning to bubble. Crack egg into small glass bowl (or small bowl of any kind). Gently pour egg into the small saucepan with lightly boiling water. Let egg slightly simmer for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from water with slotted spoon, lightly shake off excess water, and set on top of prepared lettuce/frisee. Continue poaching each egg until each salad is complete.
- Salt and pepper the poached egg. Top salad with walnuts. Serve warm.
By the Way…
This recipe is part of our collection of green salad recipes. Check it out!