A simple French salad

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Trawling through my old recipes often turns up a forgotten gem – and it’s always with a little bit of joy that I remember the flavours and wonder why I haven’t cooked this or that for ages. This recipe is what our French cousins are so very good at – taking the healthy and turning it into something distinctly naughty.

Now, strictly this is an Alpine dish, so in theory one should do some serious trekking before tucking in without the faintest glimmer of guilt, but a brisk walk around the garden should suffice.

It’s perfect for a British summer and will convert even the most resolute of meat n’ two veg eaters. A little something for everyone.

Salade Savoyarde

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 200g Beaufort cheese (you could use Comte or Gruyère)
  • 200g lardons or diced bacon
  • 400g potatoes
  • 50g walnuts
  • 50g bread, cubed
  • 1 head Frisée or a bag of mixed salad
  • 1 carrot, grated

For the dressing

  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbs olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water until tender, a matter of some 15 minutes or so. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 centimetre slices and set aside.

Cut the cheese into pieces roughly the same size as the lardons.

Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for a few minutes, then tip them out and fry the lardons in the same pan until crisp. Set these aside also.

Fry the croutons – you may need to add some butter to the pan if there isn’t enough bacon fat. Drain them on kitchen paper when done.

Allow everything to cool slightly, before lightly tossing together with the frisée and the grated carrot.

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing, or shake in a jam jar. Pour over the salad and season. Serve with crusty bread.

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One comment

  1. Miam. Looks like a very tasty combination and definitely French. I like salads like these where it takes care of the whole meal – well, at least as far as I’m concerned. Anyone looking for more easy salad recipes from France should hop on by chez moi for a peek. Cheers!

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