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One French word: lardon, a French recipe: salade d’épinards aux lardons

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).


Lardons, so you can see exactly what I mean


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.

Spinach salad

Salade tiède d’épinards aux lardons

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



  1. Begin by removing any tough stalks and washing the spinach, then pat it dry carefully.
  2. Heat the  serving plates.
  3. Cut the bread into 1cm cubes.
  4. 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.
  5. Fry the cubes of bread, shaking so that they turn golden on all sides. Put in the oven with the lardons.
  6. 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!
  7. 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).
  8. If you wish, you may add pine nuts, other nuts, and even a poached egg if you need something more filling.

Bon appétit.


About OneFrenchWord

I was a professional linguist and have been a life-long foodie. I am now lucky enough to be retired and free to roam the beaches around my home at the tip of the Finistère (Brittany, France). Writing is occupying a larger place in my life, with this blog and a children's book in preparation. I shall feel much happier calling myself a writer when I have published a book. And so posts on OneFrenchWord will be published first as an e-book, my ambition being to see a glossy volume on French language and cuisine in print some day. So keep reading, and snap up the book when it appears!

16 responses »

  1. originalapplejunkie

    I’ve had this before :D
    Was real good :)
    But I had 2 eggs with mine :)

  2. I like the idea of frying the bread cubes in the fat from the lardons!!! Will try that.

  3. That’s interesting, I have tried low or no dairy and it certainly makes a difference, both to digestion and to weight, but I find it impossible to keep to.

    • originalapplejunkie

      I think it’s easier when it’s not a choice.. :)
      I’m working on it..

      • Gee, I love dairy, and even with all the milk and yogurt, I still never get enough calcium by the end of the day. I wonder all this hype about calcium, though. The Chinese cuisine does not have dairy and the people do not seem to have more osteoporosis. However, I was told to get more calcium by my doctor. It is all confusing.

        • originalapplejunkie

          loool..have they started prescribing Calcium tablets for you yet..or told you to eat more of certain vegetables?? :P

  4. You build up your stock of calcium when you are fairly young; younger than Carol and me anyway! Nothing we can possibly eat now will increase bone structure, it’s too late. Exercise= walking, weights, keep bones in good condition, prevent bone loss. That’s what we should be doing to minimize osteoporosis. But that doesn’t stop me wanting to eat cheese, and cream, and butter… oh goodness!

  5. marshmallowfluffxo

    that really looks delicious. its interesting about the words too.

  6. When we visit France my other half makes a beeline to purchase lardons! Here’s another lovely use for them.

  7. So you can’t get them in England? What do you use instead?

  8. Pingback: The “Forget me not Award” | Kate Swaffer – Creating life with words

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