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Bistrot Salad

Garden greens, vegetables with bacon, 6-minute egg, garlic whole-grain croutons, and parmesan shards. Dressing: Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette.
My personal riff on the famous french bistrot salad of Frissè lettuce, poached egg, and lardons. The salad's pedigree intends it to be drunk with a hearty red wine. Be sure you use heartier but not too delicate, lettuces. The 6-minute egg replaces the poached egg. Fast, easy, and every bit as wonderful. Be sure to use thick meaty bacon, but regular old slices work nicely, too. I love the chew and heft of whole-grain croutons but use whatever you have, just make sure you make them yourself, the boxed kind just don’t cut it here.
Author: Denise Pardini, Hotel Castello di Sinio

Ingredients

Bistrot Salad

  • 2 handfuls various hearty lettuces per person, or more
  • 1 cup approx of green veg such as green beans, broccoli, zucchini cooked and cooled (optional)
  • 2 or 3 rashers thick-sliced bacon per person, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 egg per person
  • ½ cup approx homemade garlic croutons per person

Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette

  • cup very good quality Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 TBS dijon-style mustard
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Few grinds of ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Make the vinaigrette

  • Place all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a blender. Leave the shallot whole, just drop it in with everything else. Blend on med-low until all the ingredients are mixed well and the sugar and salt are dissolved. With the blender continuing to run, drizzle in the olive oil in a steady slow stream. Halfway through adding the oil, increase the speed of the blender, and finish streaming in the oil. It should be nicely emulsified and fairly thick. Taste with a lettuce leaf to makes sure the vinaigrette is balanced. It should have a little spark but not too much. 

Make the croutons

  • Cut or tear a piece per person of hearty country-style bread, ideally a whole grain artisan type. Put the bread pieces in a bowl and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and ½ tsp of garlic powder. In a small frying pan on medium heat, toast the bread pieces, turning and stirring often until the bread crisps. Alternatively, bake the bread pieces in a 350° F / 175° C oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check often, stirring to toast evenly.

Bacon

  • Cut the bacon in 1-inch pieces and cook in a medium frying pan until crispy.

6-minute egg

  • Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Prepare an ice bath of 50/50 ice and cold water, set aside. Prick the eggs on the pointed end with a pin. When the water comes to a boil, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Set a timer for 6 minutes. Keep water at a low delicate boil so the eggs don’t roll around violently and crack. When done, put the eggs in the ice bath for 5 minutes. Then remove and peel carefully.

Parmesan shards

  • With a vegetable peeler, make parmesan swirls, cutting either along the long or short side of the cheese, as you prefer.

Plate the salad

  • Put the greens and vegetables in a large bowl and toss with about 2 spoonfuls of vinaigrette per person. Pile the dressed greens on large dinner plates. Place a 6-minute egg in the middle of the greens. Divide the bacon, croutons, and parmesan shards evenly between the salads, sprinkling each element around on the greens. Finish with the parmesan shards. 
     Pour a lovely and hearty glass of red wine and enjoy!

Notes

Copyright Denise Pardini 2008 - 2020, hotelcastellodisinio.com