I failed to note the name of this from the menu, but I had it for lunch at a cafe in Epernay and it was amazing. So, like any grateful and conscientious chap would, I nicked it. The ingredient ‘green leaves’ is pretty much half a head of lettuce, some endives, oak leaf lettuce or really what you can get your hands on – you’re looking at a plateful of salad for each person.
- 140g smoked lardons
- 6 slices bread
- Green leaves
- 250g asparagus
- 8 freshly cooked poached eggs
- Olive oil
- Dried herbs
Have a bowl of cold or iced water standing by. Blanch the asparagus: cut off the woody stem part and plunge the spears into boiling, salted water for a few seconds (no more than 30) then drain the asparagus and pop it into the cold water. Drain.
Take the crusts off the bread and chop it into squares. Put the bread in a bowl with a good sploosh of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of herbs and seasoning and toss it so that the bread has a chance to get coated in the oil. Heat a frying pan and fry the bread, keeping it moving so that each piece gets a nice sizzle all over and they become crispy and start to brown a little. Reserve in a warm place. Now fry off the lardons until they’ve crisped up a little.
Remove the eggs from their water and pop into a pan of boiling water for a couple of minutes, then serve the salad drizzled with lardons and croutons, asparagus, vinaigrette and finally topped with soft poached eggs and a good sprinkle of salt. Enjoy!