This salad is a bistro classic which can be served with any lettuce you like, but I think it's better using varieties with firm leaves like frisée, cos and radicchio. I also believe you get a tastier result – and karma – using cage-free eggs.
4 eggs, at fridge temperature
1 tsp white wine vinegar
50ml olive oil
4 thin slices of sourdough bread
200g smoked belly bacon, cut into ¼ cm x 2cm lardons
100g (1 bunch) frisée lettuce, washed and spin-dried, torn into smaller pieces if large
For the vinaigrette
30ml extra virgin olive oil
20ml walnut oil
10ml good-quality red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare a bowl of iced water and set aside. Break the eggs one at a time into tea cups. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add vinegar. Reduce to a simmer and slowly pour each egg from the cup into the water and poach so the yolks are still soft and runny, about 2½ minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into the iced water. Drain on a clean tea towel.
2. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add the sourdough slices and fry for 5 minutes, turning over halfway, until golden and crisp. Allow to cool then break into pieces.
3. To make the vinaigrette, whisk ingredients together, check seasoning and adjust if needed.
4. Place the lardons in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook until brown and a good deal of fat has rendered out, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour half the vinaigrette in.
5. To serve, toss the lettuce with the rest of the vinaigrette and place in the centre of the bowl, then shower with lardons and croutons and add a grind of pepper. Place the egg in the centre, spoon the dressing with bacon fat over the egg, and serve.
Suggestion: Serve with main of Neil's zucchini and butter penne.