After tasting her salade liègeoise this evening, my older daughter remarked that what she likes best about trying recipes from different countries is recognising adaptations of familiar dishes.
“Like this salade liègeoise, for example – this is just a salade niçoise for people who don’t have tomatoes.”
She’s spot on, and it really brought home to me one of the reasons I cook the way I do. It a way of engaging with the world, of opening a window into different cultures – “dining table” travel, if you will.
On one level, it’s irrelevant that we are joining tens of thousands of people in Uganda in having a rolex sandwich for lunch – on another, that’s a meaningful connection.
Anyway, back to salade liègeoise… While some recipes are fancied up with apple, walnuts, or hard-boiled eggs, I kept mine classic, following this recipe from the Belgian Foodie blog.
- 1 kg new potatoes
- 1 kg green beans, halved
- 500g lardons or chopped bacon
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 Tb red wine or raspberry vinegar, or a mix of the two
- olive oil (if needed)
- salt and pepper
- fresh parsley, chopped
- Boil the potatoes until just tender. A few minutes before they are ready, steam the beans. Drain, transfer to a warmed serving bowl and cover to keep warm.
- While the vegetables are cooking, fry the lardons until crisp. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften.
- Remove the lardons and onion from the frying pan with a slotted spoon, retaining the fat.
- Add the vinegar to the frying pan and whisk into the fat to make a dressing, adding a splash of olive oil if necessary.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley.