Lardon, masculine noun (le lardon, un lardon, des lardons) = a cube or a stick of bacon (pronounced lar-don (like dong but no nasal g on the end), stress slightly on the first syllable, no audible s in the plural).
Lard = a piece of fat pork (NOT lard, which is saindoux) (pronounced lar, you don’t hear the d)
Larder = a verb, to introduce long thin pieces of beef fat usually into a roast to make it more moist (nothing to do with larder in English, a place to keep food) (pronounced lar-day, stress on the first syllable)
Larder de coups = to stab repeatedly
All the above seem to have no single word as a translation, but rather lengthy explanatory phrases!
My recipe for today is salade tiède d’épinards aux lardons (warm salad of baby spinach leaves with bacon bits), which can be either a side salad or a light main course.
For 4 people you will need:
- A large packet of baby spinach salad leaves (about 300gr)
- 200gr of lardons ( if you can’t get these in the country you are reading from, slices of bacon cut into pieces are perfectly acceptable, or even streaky bacon slices, crumbled after cooking). I used allumettes (match-stick sized lardons).
- Some stale bread to make croûtons (little fried bread cubes)
- 1/2 tbs oil
- Vinegar and pepper
- Begin by removing any tough stalks and washing the spinach, then pat it dry carefully.
- Heat the serving plates.
- Cut the bread into 1cm cubes.
- Put 1/2 tbs oil in a frying pan, heat, and add the lardons. Lardons seem to have more water in them nowadays, and a little “starter” oil seems to get them crispier. When they are as crispy as you want them, put them to keep warm in the oven, leaving as much bacon fat in the pan as possible.
- Fry the cubes of bread, shaking so that they turn golden on all sides. Put in the oven with the lardons.
- Put the spinach leaves into the pan, stir around and remove. This should take only a few seconds. They should be very slightly wilted, not cooked. In French we say “fatiguer“, to make them tired!
- Transfer the spinach onto serving plates, top with the lardons and the croûtons, add a little pepper and sprinkle literally a few drops of vinegar (no salt or oil is needed for the vinaigrette, the bacon is already salty and oily enough).
- If you wish, you may add pine nuts, other nuts, and even a poached egg if you need something more filling.