breakfast for dinner salad

Breakfast-for-dinner salad

5 September 2012

It’s the sounds, not the clock, that tell me when it’s time to get dinner on the table. The creak of cabinet doors opening and the firm slam of them shut. The suction release of the refrigerator door tugged, then the electric hum as its contents are casually contemplated, with no regard for the cold manufactured air pouring out into the warm, late-afternoon kitchen. But it’s the rustle of cereal bags and snack wrappers that gets me into the kitchen, shooing everyone out before they ruin their dinner.

And then it’s just me and the near-empty fridge, thinking, drat, I really should have made it to the store today.

But resourcefulness is the watchword for chinese grandmas, and with plenty of eggs, some breakfast meat in the freezer, and one last heart of romaine, dinner was on. The kids had scrambled eggs, bacon and a fruit-packed smoothie. And my husband and I had a down-home version of salade Lyonnaise – the bistro classic with frisee, lardons, vinaigrette and a fried egg – with sliced apples, shaved sharp cheese and maple chicken breakfast sausages (since the kids ate all the bacon).

I usually have hearts of romaine in the fridge because they keep better than most lettuces. I rescued some leftover fuji apple from my son’s lunchbox (I wasn’t kidding about the empty fridge). And I’m liking this Lake Country Wisconsin cheese from Costco, which is like a young Parmesan. But an aged Cheddar would also give a nice sharpness.

Toss greens with balsamic vinaigrette (if I were really in the spirit I would have made some with maple syrup instead of honey), then shave in cheese with a vegetable peeler. This looks like a ghost is peeling the cheese, but I needed my right hand to take the picture.

Salad ready and time for the star, a perfectly runny fried egg.

A fried egg on top transforms even a humble leftover meal into something special. Even the fuji apples have forgotten they were lunchtime rejects. It’s a breakfast for dinner that gives everyone a fresh start.

Breakfast-for-Dinner Salad
A lighter version of breakfast for dinner, this salad with sliced apple, sharp cheese, bacon or sausage and a delectably runny fried egg is a down-home take on salade Lyonnaise.


  • Salad greens, rinsed well and dried
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (substitute maple syrup for honey if you really want to get into the breakfast spirit)
  • Apple, sliced thinly
  • Sharp/aged cheddar or parmesan cheese
  • Bacon or breakfast sausage
  • Eggs (one per serving)
  • Butter or oil for cooking egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Cook bacon or sausage (I love cooking bacon in the oven).
  2. Add greens to large salad bowl and toss with balsamic vinaigrette to taste.
  3. Add sliced apples. Use vegetable peeler to shave cheese into salad. Toss gently to mix. Pile generous servings on large plates and add bacon or sausage.
  4. Fry the egg: Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add butter or oil and tilt pan so skillet surface is well greased. Tap side of egg on counter to crack it, then gently break egg into skillet. Turn heat to low and cook until egg white is firm. Cover briefly with a lid at the end if you want to make sure the white is not at all runny.
  5. Top salad with fried egg, sprinkling with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


  • You can flip the egg, turning off the heat if you like it over-easy, or continue cooking on low until desired doneness. You can also cook more than one fried egg at a time, but it’s much harder to keep them pretty for serving.

Here’s the link to a printable version.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

The Flavor Carousel 11 September 2012 at 5:53 pm

You know, i have never ever thought of peeling cheese! What a great idea *smacks herself on the forehead*
Also, i love the way you write. I am transported into your kitchen. And yes, my writing has improved after reading fantastic blogs like yours.


cg 13 September 2012 at 1:54 am

thanks so much – so lovely of you to lift my spirits! very kind of you to take the time to comment.


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