Bistro Salad

Oh, I love this recipe. Can you fry an egg? Can you make a salad? Then you can make this lovely elegant number that is light and delicious and colorful. This is one of those dinners (and sometimes lunches) that I always have on call for those days when I have run out of clever ideas for what to make for dinner…or those nights when whatever clever idea I DID have on the menu just seems too exhausting.

So here’s the scoop: you cook up a few pieces of bacon however you like to make it (I’m currently a fan of baking it in the oven, it’s fool-proof and a lot less messy than the stove). Mix up a quick and easy mustard dressing, which you toss with mixed up greens — your choice but personally I like romaine. Fry up as many eggs as you have people. Or poach them – whatever you like best. Then it goes like this: bed of salad, egg on top, chopped cooked bacon scattered over all, a little fresh ground pepper. If you cook the egg so that the yolk is not too firm, the egg will add to the dressing and you are in Bistro Salad Heaven.

If I have some French or Italian bread around, I will slice and toast it and spread it with whatever soft cheese I have in the fridge…or if not, a little butter will do. Arrange those artfully on the side of the plate and your lucky fellow diners will think you have been planning this meal for days.

Bistro Salad, adapted from Cooks Illustrated, The Best 30 Minute Recipe 

Bistro Salad
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • i clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 12 baguette slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, toasted
  • your favorite spreadable cheese -- Brie, Boursin, etc.
  • 8 slices bacon, chopped and cooked
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 cups of your favorite lettuce variety
  1. First, make dressing by processing vinegar, mustard, shallot, garlic, thyme, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in blender or small food processor for 15 seconds. Add oil and process until emulsified, about 15 seconds.
  2. Drizzled baguette toasts with olive oil and spread with your favorite cheese, set aside.
  3. Fry eggs in butter until desired doneness (about 2 minutes for soft yolks, 3 for soft set and 4 for firm set.)
  4. While eggs are cooking, toss lettuce with bacon and enough dressing for your taste (start with ⅓ cup and add more as needed). Divide among plates.
  5. When eggs are done, slide one onto each plate and arrange cheese toasts around the edge. Grind fresh pepper over all and serve.


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  1. Andrea says

    Oh, for the love of Pete, I'm not even a big fans of salads, but this one I'm drooling over! Must be the egg and the bacon :-)
    Going to give it a try, thanks!

  2. ruthie says

    Surfing your blog a bit…I love salads like this. I like bitter greens, even something like kale (which I sweat a little with some olive oil and garlic) because they are such a great foil for the creaminess of egg yolk, and the salty bacon doesn’t hurt anything either. 😉


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