I grew to love this salad for lunch with a hunk of crusty bread the first time I went to Lyon. Typical bistro food, nowhere is it prepared better than by my friend Jean-Paul Lacombe at Brasserie Léon de Lyon. It has “everything “ in it for a well-balanced light meal. The bitter greens play off the sweet bacon. The egg is soft and soothing. The croutons add extra crunch and zest. Add a glass of Beaujolais! —ChefJune
heads curly endive, rinsed & very well dried
small white onions, shallots or scallions cut into thin rings
pancetta or bacon, diced
Croutons made of cubed French bread sautéed in the bacon pan
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
extra-virgin olive oil
best quality red wine vinegar (I use Heinz)
eggs poached fairly firmly (so they're not runny)
Tear the leaves of curly endive into bite sized pieces. Make sure all the greens are thoroughly dry, or your dressing will not adhere to them. Combine the endive, chives and onions in a large shallow salad bowl and toss
Place the bacon in a frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels. Reserve the fat, and sauté the bread cubes in it. Set aside in a small bowl.
Combine the oil and vinegar in a small jar or measuring cup. Shake to blend, or whip with a fork to produce an emulsion. Add 1 tsp. Dijon mustard to the oil, if you like, before adding the oil
Just before serving, add the bacon and croutons to the greens. Pour the vinaigrette over, and toss thoroughly, to coat all the greens. Top each serving with a poached egg. Serve at once.