In Colu Henry’s latest F&W Cooks video, she revisits a popular dish her Nana used to make—a lettuce salad topped with hot bacon dressing, which was “requested at every gathering.” After her aunt tracked down the handwritten family recipe, Henry decided to put her own spin on it, adding jammy eggs and boiled potatoes to create the perfect summer supper. It’s quick, easy, and pairs wonderfully with a Vinho Verde—check out Henry’s key tips for preparing the meal below.
Separate the lettuce leaves
Before she starts cooking, Henry pulls apart the lettuce leaves, seasons them with salt and pepper, and puts them aside.
Use one pot
Henry brings a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, using it to cook the potatoes and the eggs at the same time—which means one less dish for you to wash after dinner. The potatoes go in first, followed by the eggs (carefully). Do note that the potatoes need to cook a few minutes longer than the eggs do.
Seven minutes equals jammy eggs
Henry prefers her egg yolks jammy (in other words, soft-boiled) for this salad, so she cooks them for seven minutes. However, if you prefer a firmer yolk, you can cook the eggs for an additional 30 seconds to a minute more.
Finish with cold water
After the eggs and potatoes are done cooking, Henry douses them (separately) in cold water to shock them and stop the cooking process.
You don’t have to cut your potatoes
Depending on the size of the potatoes (Henry’s recipe calls for small or new potatoes), you can choose to cut them or not. Henry opts to cut her potatoes in half for this meal.
Don’t let the bacon burn
When you’re making the dressing, you want the fat to render out and the pieces of bacon to get crispy; however, you don’t want it to be too crispy. If the bacon starts to turn black, it will affect the flavor of the dressing.
Make the dressing in the skillet
Once the bacon fat cools slightly, you can make the dressing right in the skillet. Add the cider vinegar and brown sugar, and whisk together until it dissolves—with a little salt and pepper and one more whisking, you're good to go.
Put it all together
To assemble the salad, drizzle half of the hot bacon dressing on the little gem lettuce, add the potatoes, and top with half of the bacon. Toss to combine—then add the rest of the bacon, the eggs, scallions, and the remaining dressing. The perfect bite will have the creamy yolk, smoky bacon, potato, and crunchy lettuce all in one.
Pair with a drinkable wine
Henry suggests a “highly drinkable and uncomplicated” Vinho Verde—“green wine” from northern Portugal—to accompany the meal, since it has a high acidity and is "super food-friendly."
Get the recipe here.