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 photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

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

6 thoughts on “Big summer salad”

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

  2. 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 😉

    • 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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