Salade Paysanne

French, country style salad; an all-time favorite. Simple, yet fulfilling, perfect lunch meal.

I have seen different variations of the salad, but this one's our favorite.
Salad Paysanne, on a plate right in front, is always, I find, very tempting and irresistible. Freshly baked bread, good country eggs picked this morning and salad ingredients, just brought from the garden are Salade Paysanne's strenth.
Best, use mixed lettuces, and greens, such Endive, Batavia, Spinach, red leafed varieties, most importantly, -whatever happens to be in season, and at it's best.
As the name may suggest, it's great enjoyed under blue, and sunny skies of the country, and well beyond picturesque, French countryside!
Ingredients - (Makes 4 servings).
4 generous hand fulls, mixed fresh lettuce,
4 eggs, cooked (whites set, yolks still runny),
16, 1 inch thick, baguette slices (slice diagonally),
4 x 1/2 cup cooked bacon pieces, cooked (golden-brown),
2 medium sized tomatoes, ready to eat, yet firm, and easy to cut into wedges,
1 medium, red onion,
spring onions, or chives finely sliced for garnish,
vinaigrette for dressing,

dash of unsalted butter and olive oil for pan frying the bread.
Salt & Pepper for seasoning.
Method
(1) Rinse and drain the lettuce.
(2) Wash tomatoes.
(3) Boil eggs, smaller ones 3 minutes, large for 4 minutes (ultimately you need hard whites, and soft yolks). Rest them in cold water for a few minutes, then peel, and reserve.
(4) Cut each tomato into 8 neat wedges, reserve.
(5) Chop scallions (or chives), thinly.
(6) Slice onions into pretty rings.
(7) Briefly fry baguette slices (on both sides) in warmed olive oil, and butter. Reserve on a paper towel.
(8) Assemble the plates: put lettuce in the center, top it with a few red onion rings. Arrange tomato wedges and bread slices around the outer area of the plate. Cut each egg (with a thin knife) into quarters (lengthwise), and place them on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with bacon bits, and scallions (or chives).
Serve as soon as assembled, with vinaigrette dressing. Chilled water makes best drink to accompany, since vinegar will mess with the taste of wine. If you really would like to drink some wine, then have some either before, or after the meal.
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References
Special Thanks
Special Thanks to Town & Country Gardens Contributors: blogger, dive-angel (Karin), flickr, Jasmine&Roses, Rita Crane Photography. Rita Crane, daughter of LIFE magazine photographer Ralph Crane. Her work can be seen on Flickr at Rita Crane Photography or on her website., TMR Davies, W.D. Williams

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