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This is a riff on the traditional salade lyonnaise, which is a green salad with lardons, croutons, and a poached egg. In our version, pancetta slices replace the lardons, one big crouton steps in for smaller croutons, and the salad is topped off with a little sherry vinegar. This dish is typically served as a starter, but it also works well as a light meal.
What to buy: Purchase high-quality pancetta from a gourmet store or your local butcher and have it cut to order. Otherwise, make your own pancetta and use some of it in this salad.
Game plan: This is one of those salads that you make and eat right away because the warm dressing wilts the greens slightly. If you want to eat it later, you can make the croutons and poached eggs up to 2 days ahead and finish the rest of the recipe when you’re ready. To reheat the poached eggs, place in gently simmering water for a few minutes until heated through.
Also, the fresher the eggs are when you poach them, the better the whites will hold their shape.
This recipe was featured as part of our How to Make Pancetta story.
Beverage pairing: Patient Cottat Sauvignon Blanc, France. This wine from around the region of Sancerre in France is simple and zippy, which makes it a great match for this simple but highly flavorful salad. The high acid and green apple and melon notes will handle the vinegar, while the wine’s pleasantly tangy edge will mollify the bitterness of the frisée and the saltiness of the pancetta.