Big summer salad | eat. live. travel. write.

Big summer salad

Big salad French style on eatlivetravelwrite.comPsst: Today I’m getting ready to leave to take on 9 days’ walking nearly 180 km on the Camino  over the next couple of weeks! If you want to follow along my adventures, Instagram is the best way!

Today I thought I would share a little taste of my summer in France. A bit more “real life” than perhaps my photos might suggest!  For sure there is plentiful rosé and pastries and French fries (especially at those night markets) but most days, I eat much more simply, taking advantage of fresh produce and fridge and pantry staples. One of my absolute favourite things (anytime but especially when I am dining alone) is a big plate of salad.

This “recipe” if you can call it that, was created years ago when I was studying for my MA in Paris over a series of summers, on one of those days when I looked in the fridge and briefly thought “There’s nothing to eat, I must go to the store” (because after all, I could spend hours in a French supermarket, especially if I’m supposed to be working on something else – best procrastination strategy ever!). Then I decided to pull everything in my fridge out and take a good look to see if I couldn’t figure out a meal from what I had on hand.

It turned out to be a pretty complete meal – just add baguette – and now these items are always on my very first shopping list when I arrive in France (while it’s great to shop at the markets, all these items can be purchased at a supermarket too – much more practical when you first arrive somewhere!).  And making this numerous times over the past couple of weeks has reminded me that I need to make this more often when I am home!

Yield: 2

Big summer salad, French-style

Big summer salad, French-style

Meal in a salad bowl - this has a little bit of everything!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • For the salad:
  • 3-4 cups mixed salad leaves (I typically use mix of endive, a crunchy lettuce like sucrine or romaine and a softer leaf like mâche or lamb's lettuce but you can use a bag of mixed leaves too!)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped into cubes
  • approximately 60g hard cheese like Emmenthal or Comté, cubed
  • 100g lardons, cooked and drained (or 6 slices bacon, cooked, drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 small cucumber, chopped into cubes
  • 2 small new potatoes, cooked (I use my microwave for this), cooled and cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels, drained
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
  • chives, to serve

For the dressing:

  • 80mls (1/3 cup) olive oil
  • 4-6 tablespoons lemon juice (on this salad I like my dressing very lemon-y!)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (not the grainy kind)
  • salt and pepper to taste


Make the dressing:

  1. Place oil, lemon juice and mustard in a jam jar, or similar. Shake well.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad:

  1. Divide all the ingredients between two large plates (I like to add each ingredient to the plates separately instead of mixing the salad in a bowl).
  2. Serve with the dressing (this way, if there are leftovers, they will not be soggy because they are already dressed).


The dressing recipe will yield approximately 2/3-3/4 cup - much more than you need for this recipe. Store unused portion in the fridge.

did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a phone and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

What about you – what’s your “go to” meal when there’s “nothing to eat”?

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6 Responses to Big summer salad

  1. Christine July 19, 2016 at 08:27 #

    What a lovely salad and photo. Have fun on your walking trip!

    • Mardi Michels July 19, 2016 at 09:32 #

      Thanks so much – I love salads like these 🙂

  2. Geoff July 19, 2016 at 21:59 #

    In our fridge at home there will always be eggs.
    Thus when there is “nothing to eat”, it’s eggs on toast.

  3. Janice July 20, 2016 at 20:41 #

    OMG! You are walking the Camino! I want to walk the Camino so badly! I have been dreaming of it for years. Literally. I cannot wait to hear about your experience. I hope you will share all the details (like the ups and downs). Who are you walking with? Have you been training for it? I have so many questions… Good luck and I hope you have a great time!
    P.S. I love salads like this, especially when they are made with bacon and corn 😉

    • Mardi Michels July 21, 2016 at 10:01 #

      Hey there – I’m JUST walking 9 days (180km) with a friend (she’s tagged on IG/ FB). I have kinda sorta been training for it but we are doing a “light version” with Camino Travel Center who take our bags from town to town and we’re staying in pensiones, not the hostels… I will no doubt write a bit about it…

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