France has a well-deserved reputation for providing the English language the majority of the words it uses for style, elegance and panache. Paris as the capital city of France may hold the pre-eminence in the world of fashion, but the French centre for food and all things gastronomic is Lyon.

Lyon River and Castle. Photo credit Mitchell Henderson.

Nestling in the south-east where the Rhône and the Saône meet, this is the home to France’s food culture. Its bouchons are the local restaurants, family run in the main and over seen by the matriarch of the family.

Yet for all its history and countless Michelin stars there are only a few dishes that are worthy enough to be designated as Lyonnaise from Lyon. By far the least known and most fantastic recipe awaiting discovery by the world is the Salade Lyonnaise.

As summer begins to relax and allow us all to enjoy its accumulated heat and warmth, lets learn about this wonderful salad and the drink to accompany it to perfection.

That Perfect Summer Lyon Pairing

As with any salad there is always a certain about of wriggle room with the greenery, but for authenticity please try and create the salad base with curly leaf such as endive. Once your salad base is created you need to prepare the holy trinity of ingredients: bread, egg and bacon.

Salade Lyonnaise. Photo credit Arnaud 25 from Wikipedia.

Take some French stick and chop it into cubes and fry it in a small amount of butter to create lovely crispy croutons. While this is happening fry some bacon slices in a drop of olive oil, whilst poaching an egg. Then scatter the croutons onto the salad, chop up the crispy bacon and sprinkle on, and finally lay the freshly poached egg on the top. Create the dressing by using the olive oil and bacon fat combination with mustard and vinegar to create an outstanding vinaigrette.

The most perfect salad that combines summer diet regime with a deconstructed bacon and egg sandwich.

A dish so simple, rustic and yet so elegant is well worth discovering. Yet it needs a drink. You’ll need a wine that won’t be affected by the acid of the vinaigrette but will be able to cope with the richness of the croutons, bacon and egg.

Just south of Lyon is the wine making region of Beaujolais. Beaujolais wine is a red and is created from the Gamay grape, it is light, fresh and full of fruit and isn’t full of mouth drying tannins.

Fresh deep purple Gamay grapes. Photo credit Viking59 from Wikipedia.

Best of all for a summer drink Beaujolais really benefits from being lightly chilled before serving. Lightly not chilled to the level of sparkling wine but about 10-12c. A simple perfect combination of sin-free diet salad and the age old favourites of bacon and eggs, with wine.

Photo credit Agne27 from Wikipedia.

Voila! La vie est belle. Au revior mes amis! Suivez @thesommelieruk sur Twitter et bonne santé.