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Like many mothers, Lucinda Scala Quinn, author of Mad Hungry, has some trouble getting her three boys to eat salads. Instead of thinking up sneaky ways to get those vegetables in, Quinn has come up with several boy salads—salads that are carefully composed of ingredients that are favorites around her house, and dressed with a bright vinaigrette. These salads are eaten with pleasure by everyone in the household and are proof that with a few extra moments of consideration and some strategic planning, salads do not have to be a battle at the dinner table.

I can't imagine even the pickiest of eaters not diving into this Pantry Bistro Salad with reckless abandon. It's a take on the classic French frisée aux lardons, or in layman's terms, a big bowl of lettuce dressed with a simple vinaigrette, crisp bacon, and a runny poached egg. Quinn replaces the frisée with more easily available and kid-friendly romaine, and caramelizes onions along with the bacon for a salad that, although not the most nutritious, is insanely delicious. The broken yolk acts as additional dressing for the lettuce along with the bacon fat, leaving plenty of sop-worthy dressing in the bottom of the bowl just waiting to scooped up with crusty bread.

Pantry Bistro Salad

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About This Recipe

Yield:4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chilled
  • 2 capfuls red wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Toasted bread slices, for serving

Procedures

  1. 1

    Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and then swirl in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the bacon and onion and sauté until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon and onion mixture with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, poach the eggs in gently boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, until the white is set and yolk is still runny. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs and place on a clean kitchen towel to drain.

  3. 3

    Slice the lettuce into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the leaves.

  4. 4

    Divide the lettuce among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each with the bacon mixture. Place an egg on top of each and serve immediately with toasted bread.

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