This Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg is inspired by a delicious meal I had at Tasty n Alder early this year to Portland, Oregon. This salad straight up swept me off my feet and left a lasting impression on this self-proclaimed salad-a-holic!
Traveling is one of my very favorite things to do. I feel alive when I am exploring new places and I always return to the home I love so much, feeling inspired by the people, the cuisine, the history, traditions and stories.
This year has already been off to a really great start for my travels and as always, my cooking and my recipes that I create after I return to my kitchen, are absolutely inspired by the places I visit.
All that to say that I would LOVE to take credit for the brilliance of this incredible Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg. But alas, this one comes by way of an epic meal I had while traveling. Of course. This from a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, the mecca of amazing, inspired, seasonal, real food eats. This salad is my recreation of quite possibly one of THE best salads I have ever had in my entire life. Right? I know, that’s a pretty HUGE statement, especially for a self-professed salad lover such as myself.
I enjoyed the original version of this Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg at an incredible brunch at Tasty n Alder in Portland, Oregon. Tasty n Alder’s brunch is touted as a MUST eat from most food-lovin’ folks whenever you mention a trip to Portland, but the follow-up statement is always, “but get there early, because there is usually a 2 hour wait to get a table for brunch on the weekends”. What? No way I would EVER wait two hours for any meal. I was skeptical and of course thought, how good could it actually be? We didn’t make any plans for brunch there, no way I would give up 2 hours of exploring a city for any meal, despite the FOMO that was already plaguing me.
Monday morning, our final day of our time in Portland, we walked from our hotel downtown and ended up at Heart Coffee Roaster’s West Side Cafe, one of my favorite Portland coffee joints. As we sit in the window of the cafe, watching the rain fall, taking the chill from our bones, I glanced up across the street, at 8:40am, to see Tasty n Alder, directly across from us. Without a line. Unplanned.
Brunch started in 20 minutes. So we waited in the warmth of the coffee shop. After the first two people popped into the line, we got up, grabbed our coffees and snagged the number two spot. Within 10 minutes, there were easily 20 – 3o people behind us. So we waited for our table. The doors opened promptly at 9am, we were sat instantly and I began to drool over the entire menu.
They were very helpful in helping me to navigate the gluten-free options, but I immediately was drawn to this Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg. Radicchio isn’t something I usually fawn over, but this combination had me straight up excited and I always love a good veggie option with my breakfast.
We also, of course, went for the charcuterie board and for my main I went with the Bim Bop Bacon & Eggs. Hubby opted for the Fried Egg & Cheddar Biscuit with Fried Chicken. We both agreed the Radicchio Salad was the absolute standout of the meal. The radicchio takes a quick polar plunge ice bath, which helps reduce the bite and bitterness that radicchio is often known for, while keeping it crisp, crunchy and fresh. It’s quite incredible really.
The crunchy bacon lardons are a lovely crispy, slaty compliment, but you can certainly just go with your regular ‘ol crispy bacon pieces, too. It all gets tossed in a light, champagne vinaigrette, with generous amount of the sheep’s milk manchego and it gets finished with a chopped, nearly jammy 6-minute cooked egg. Pure perfection top to bottom.
This Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg salad is the perfect summer side dish, great for BBQs or cookouts, picnics or brunches.
For paleo and whole30 or for dairy intolerances, opt to leave out the manchego cheese. Maybe try a little nutritional yeast for the cheesy factor and adjust the salt in your vinaigrette accordingly.
Radicchio Salad with Bacon Lardons, Manchego & Six Minute Egg
- 2 small heads of radicchio, halved, cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4-6 ounces pasture-raised slab bacon
- 1 pasture raised egg
- 1 cup finely grated sheep's milk manchego cheese
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar, or other white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon very finely minced shallot
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Give the Radicchio a Bath. In a large bowl, cover the radicchio with ice water and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and dry well.
- Make the Vinaigrette.While the radicchio is taking a soak, make your vinaigrette. Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl, whisk very well to emulsify and combine. Season with sea salt and black pepper, to taste, going light on the salt since we have salt coming from the cheese and the lardons. Set aside.
- Cook the Bacon Lardons. Cut the slab bacon into large chunks, called lardons (or cut slices into chunks). They should be about 1-by-1/4-inch or so. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat has rendered and bacon is starting to brown and it's nice and crisp. Approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. If you render enough fat in the pan, you can use some of that in the vinaigrette, if you'd like additional flavor.
- Cook the six-minute egg. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower the eggs into the water. Cook 6 minutes, adjusting heat to maintain a gentle boil. Transfer the egg to a bowl of ice water and chill until ready to serve. Peel the egg.*
- Assemble the Salad. In a large serving dish add the chopped radicchio, make sure it's nice and dry. Add the lardons and about 3/4 of the Manchego cheese. Drizzle the vinaigrette over top, you may not use it all, so go easy, you can always add more. Toss the salad well.
- Serve topped with the remaining Manchego cheese. Roughly chop the peeled 6 minute egg and place on top of the salad. Season with black pepper and serve.