Salad Lyonnaise

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Sometimes, when I eat alone, I use it as an excuse to put little to no effort into what I’m putting in my mouth. Almond butter and a firm, juicy apple. A date stuffed with an almond and popped like a movie theater snack.

Other times, cooking for a single person is freeing. It’s just me in the kitchen making this salad Lyonnaise, carefully slipping a raw egg into a pot of almost-boiling water and praying it poaches properly. The egg didn’t turn out — the water needed to be energetically boiling — but it’s okay. I can try again.

There’s no one else to please, no chewing sounds to dissect as I attempt to discover whether my fiance likes what I’m feeding him. Did you know people chew differently depending on whether they’re enjoying their food? At least, that’s what my limited research has shown.

The combination of bacon, eggs and balsamic vinegar was new to me, especially as the egg is poached and the yolk forms part of the dressing. But when contrasted with the sharp bite of arugula and frisee, the crunch of the bacon and the acid of the vinegar, the egg tastes richer, silkier. You’ll begin to wonder why you haven’t been doing this your whole life.

Bread is pretty noticeable in the picture above. All I can say is I needed another thing on the plate, it’s the holidays and I probably have a Whole30 looming in the foreseeable future. But I digress. The salad was delicious.

The recipe is mostly Michelle Tam’s, though I did adjust it to add frisee and to reduce the number of servings.

Salad Lyonnaise
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 very fresh egg
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup frisee
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. First, cut your bacon into 1/4-inch slices. Throw them in a cast-iron skillet and allow to render for 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy.
  2. In the meantime, boil a small saucepan of water. Take your egg and drain it through a slotted spoon. This is kind of magical; the white doesn’t drip like you’d think, but remains in the spoon while a lot of watery bits come out. Slip the egg from the spoon into vigorously boiling water. Allow to poach.
  3. Remove bacon from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour the bacon grease into a glass bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Whisk balsamic vinegar into the bacon drippings, then drizzle over frisee and arugula. Toss.
  5. Place dressed greens on a plate, and place the egg on top. Sprinkle with bacon, season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
By Michelle Tam
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