Sunday 12 January 2014

Salade aux Lardons with baked Camembert

One of our favourite salads is "Salade aux Lardons" - green salad (usually endive and/or lettuce) with lardons (bacon pieces, cubetti di pancetta or equivalent). We had this on Friday, largely because I had harvested a nice endive from the garden:

We love the blanched heart of the endive best. It is very sweet compared with the outer green leaves. It also has the right texture to stand up to the hot dressing that goes with this salad. Most lettuces are too soft for a hot dressing, but the hearts of Cos / Romaine are good.

This is how you make the salad:

Wash your endive and/or lettuce and spin it dry (or dry it with kitchen towels), and arrange it in your bowls:

As you can see in the photo above, we added some croutons - small cubes of bread drizzled with olive oil and cooked in the oven until brown and crispy. They add a really nice crunchy texture to a salad. You can make variations on the theme by using flavoured oils (Hazelnut, Basil, Chilli etc) and by sprinkling the croutons with herbs.

Meanwhile, fry your lardons until they start to brown at the edges and the fat runs out of them.

Then add to the pan a generous splash of red wine vinegar, stir it in, spoon the lardons into the bowls of salad and pour the "juice" over the top.

This type of salad is best eaten immediately, before it cools down, so my photos of the finished item are a bit rushed and not of particularly good quality! This is the best I can do:

Here you see the salad being eaten with baked Camembert cheese and home-made bread. TV Dinners don't get better than his!

Here's a close-up of the Camembert before baking. A cross has been cut in the top, into which has been inserted a sprig of fresh Thyme, and the whole thing is drizzled with Sweet Freedom (substituting for Honey, because Jane is diabetic).

And the end result, after baking? A soft, gooey, spoonable, decandently unctious bowl of loveliness!

Bon appetit!


  1. now this is GLORIOUS!... love the drizzled camembert, all warmed up... gorgeous food and very jealous of the crispy lettuce!

  2. And colour coordinated plates too.

  3. Wow, what a perfect pairing. The bitterness and acidity of the salad would temper the richness of the baked camembert. The "honey" on the camembert is a great idea. We actually have some honey from our own property, from hives placed there by a friend of my wife's. Hmmm...


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