Pantry Bistro Salad


When you think there is no food in the house, you can prepare this satisfying and hearty salad by scrounging the fridge and pantry for a few simple ingredients. This is a facsimile of a French-style bistro salad complete with bacon and eggs.From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ½ pound bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces

  • ½ white onion, chopped

  • 4 large eggs

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chilled

  • 2 capfuls red wine vinegar

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Toasted bread slices, for serving


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

  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. 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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