In French, lardons refer to the small strips cut from the pig belly. Slab bacon is the best substitute for it in the United States.
Boulette's Larder in San Francisco's Ferry Building is a tiny place, but it has made a big name for itself with seasonally inspired dishes made from 100% locally farmed ingredients. Co-owner Lori Regis shared this recipe for the traditional French bistro salad with us.
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Drop bacon into boiling water and cook for 45 seconds. Remove bacon and pat dry. Transfer to a sheet pan and bake until caramelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer bacon to paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons bacon drippings.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, and black pepper. Let sit for 3 minutes. Using a whisk, stir the olive oil into the vinegar in a steady stream. Whisk in the bacon drippings.
To assemble the salad, season the eggs with sea salt to taste. Put the salad greens in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Divide the greens evenly among four salad bowls. Sprinkle the lardons over the greens. Top each salad with a poached egg.
Recipe courtesy of Boulette's Larder.