Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sunday Lunch – Belgian style

One of my eighty years old mother’s favourite dishes is a ‘Salade Liégeoise’. Although it is very easy to make, she doesn’t bother to prepare one just for herself, so very regularly she asks me to make a Salade Liégeoise for Sunday Lunch. I’m always happy to oblige, as I like it myself.

Like many traditional Belgian dishes, it was basically something that was made with leftovers. Today it has become a Belgian classic that even the best brasserie-type restaurants like to put on their autumn or winter menu card.

What do you need? (serves two)

400 gr. of green beans (‘princesses)
6 slices of lean bacon (approx. 0.5 cm thick)

A large onion
Plain alcohol vinegar or white wine vinegar, according to taste
6 to 8 medium sized potatoes, the firm, hard cooking type (red roseval potatoes are the best)
Some olive oil
Pepper and salt
Two dried or fresh bay leaves
Two or four fresh eggs at room temperature

Lean salted bacon before it is cut in 0.75 cm strips


Clean the green beans by removing the ends, and cut them into 4 to 5 cm pieces. Cook them in boiling water to which you have added a pinch of salt. When they are ‘al dente’, which means still slightly crunchy, drain them and rinse them immediately under cold running water. This will keep them crunchy and a nice bright green colour. Set aside. You can even do this the day before. In that case, stock them in your fridge in Tupperware-type container till the next day.

Next, peel and cook the potatoes by boiling them for approx. 15 minutes. Don’t let them get too soft.

Peel and finely chop the onion.

Cut the slices of bacon into little ‘lardons’ (strips) of about one ¾ centimeter. Panfry them without adding any oil until they are golden brown and crispy. When they are ready, set them apart with the baking juices.

The next step is to assemble all the ingredients. Heat up a little olive oil in a cooking pot. Add the onion and cook it until it is transparent. Add two to three tablespoons of vinegar and let it reduce for 15 seconds. Add pepper, salt and the bay leaves. Stir well.

Add the cooked beans and stir again. Then add the boiled potatoes and stir again. Add the bacon and its baking juices. Stir again and slowly increase the heat, stirring every now and then.

Et voilà: a Salade Liégeoise ready to be served.
Don't forget the eggs ... sunny side

Serve on a large plate and put one or two pan fried eggs – sunny side up!! – on the salad. Serve with a slice of baguette, a glass of red wine or a beer.

P.S. Liége or Luik is a beautiful city in the East of Belgium. It’s located on the Meuse River and has some very nice sites that are definitely worth a visit!



chm said...

I'm so happy to see you use the right spelling for Liége. I've been fighting for years telling people that the first 'e' in the name of that city is spelled with an acute accent and not a grave accent as in liège [cork]!

I'll try that recipe it sounds and looks delicious.

Jean said...

Martine, you're right, great minds think alike !! Your salad looks delicious. We love lardons and green beans so we will try this recipe out. Jean

ladybird said...

chm, I've never really thought about the spelling of Liége. I guess it comes naturel to us Belgians :).

Jean, Do try it, as it is so easy to make and very tasty!


Ken Broadhurst said...

I like it, or, I should say, I'm sure I will like it. Thanks for the recipe. I went to Liége once, many years ago. I'd like to return.

ladybird said...

Ken, It's a nice way to use some of the tons of green beans that you've harvested this summer ;)