Classic Lyonnaise salad

Makes 4 (as a starter)
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes at 190c/375f

Ingredients

4 handfuls of small leaf salad
4 slices stale but bendy French bread cut into cubes
olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic granules
100g smoked lardons
50g walnuts, chopped
4 eggs
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
few drops maggi seasoning
1 tablespoon wine or sherry vinegar
salt and pepper
lots of chopped parsley to serve

Preparation

  1. To poach the eggs, fill a medium-sized saucepan 2/3 full with water, and bring to the boil.
  2. Crack an egg into a teacup (or similar). Reduce the heat so the water is simmering and stir the water so it’s definitely swirling but hasn’t created a vortex. Pour the egg into the centre of the pan and poach for 3-3½ minutes.
  3. Remove the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and put into a medium-sized bowl of very cold water until ready to serve.
  4. To re-heat the eggs, re-boil the water and add all the eggs for about 1 minute before draining and drying. These can be cooked up to 1 hour in advance.
  5. Fry the lardons in a little of the oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a baking sheet to re-heat. Reserve the oil for the dressing.
  6. Drizzle the cubes of bread with some olive oil and put them in the oven for 5 minutes or until browned. Once cooked, sprinkle them with garlic granules and season with salt and pepper, then place them on paper towel to remove excess oil. These can be made up to three days in advance.
  7. Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together, including the oil from the lardons.
  8. 10 minutes before serving, bring a pan of water to the boil for the eggs. Just before serving, put the croutons back in the oven with the lardons, put the eggs into the water, and dress the salad by tossing the leaves in the dressing in a bowl.

To serve divide the salad onto plates and sprinkle over the bacon and croutons. Sprinkle over the walnuts and, using a slotted spoon and a paper towel to drain underneath, place a poached egg on the top. Decorate with lots of fresh parsley.