Daniel Boulud's modern salade Lyonnaise from his new cookbook Daniel is not a dish he serves in his restaurants. Instead it appears at his home table or (I suspect) more often at dinner parties. It is part of a collection of more casual, family-style recipes in the back of his otherwise restaurant-centric cookbook.
Still, despite its air of informality, this dish is highly composed. He simmers baby leeks, blends a puréed carrot vinaigrette, sears chicken livers, fries bacon, and boils six-minute eggs. Despite all of these elements, the plate comes together with relative ease—I served the salad at room temperature, so there was no rushing around at the last minute.
Why I picked this recipe: Wanting a simpler dish, I turned to this refined yet not difficult twist on the Lyonnaise bistro salad.
What worked: While I was pleased with each of the elements of the salad, I loved the carrot vinaigrette the most. It tamed the livers, added earthiness to the bacon, and brightened the tender leeks. I'd eat that vinaigrette on anything.
What didn't: No problems here.
Suggested tweaks: The six-minute egg is wonderful and glamorous, but if you'd like to poach or even fry your egg, you certainly could. Just be sure to leave the yolk runny.
Reprinted with permission from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud. Copyright 2013. Published by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 6
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 1/2 hours, plus an overnight soak for the chicken livers
- 8 ounces chicken livers (about 12), trimmed
- 2 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 4 small carrots (about 1 pound), peeled
- 6 small leeks
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 6 (1/4-inch-thick) slices of bacon
- 1/2 bunch chives, cut into 1-inch batons
Submerge the chicken livers in the milk and soak overnight in the refrigerator. Strain and pat dry with a paper towel.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Submerge the eggs and boil for 6 minutes. Strain and peel the eggs under cold running water.
Thinly slice 1 carrot and cut the slices into thin julienne.
Peel the tough outer leaves from the leeks and halve them lengthwise, starting 1/2 inch from their base to keep them intact. Rinse them with cold water to wash any sand from their layers. Bunch the leeks and tie together with butcher’s twine. Place in a large pot with the remaining carrots, the bay leaf, and thyme and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Strain, and discard the thyme and bay leaf.
Transfer the carrots to a blender with 5 tablespoons water, the mustard, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, then stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
Untie the leeks, pat dry with paper towels, and brush them with carrot dressing; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sear the bacon on both sides until crispy, about 6 minutes total. Strain off all but 1 tablespoon fat, transfer the bacon to a cutting board, and cut the strips crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Season the chicken livers on all sides with salt and pepper. Return the sauté pan with the bacon fat to high heat and add the livers in a single layer. Sear the livers on both sides until cooked through but still light pink in the center, about 5 minutes total. Scoop onto a cutting board and slice the livers in half.
Spoon the carrot vinaigrette into the center of 6 salad plates and top each with a fanned-out seasoned leek and 1 egg. Divide the bacon, chicken livers, julienned carrot, and chives on top.