As every Belgian knows, a Salade Liégeoise is a very typical warm salad made with three basic ingredients: green beans (string beans), bacon and potatoes. It comes from the city and region of Liège, near the German-Dutch borders with Belgium.
Often we add sautéed onions and then season it with a little vinegar or a combination of vinegars, such as Sherry, raspberry and red wine vinegars. I usually use my homemade red wine vinegar with a mix of cranberry or raspberry vinegar to add a fruity touch.
Although a Salade Liégeoise is rather straight-forward and simple, it can be spruced up a bit, if desired. For instance, you can add a sliced hard-boiled egg or even a couple poached eggs on top, along with some chopped walnuts. In the more prosperous parts of Liège, some people traditionally add a little cream to the end of the finished salad. This dish is particularly tasty with new potatoes if you can find them at a local farmers’ market.
How do you Serve a Salade Liégoise?
A Salad Liégeoise is generally served as a main course during colder months. However, I find it best in late spring and summer when new potatoes and freshly harvested green beans are more abundant.
Make this Salade Liégeoise soon and let me know your comments. You do not need much time or money to make this salad. Yet, serving this salad will change your family’s routine and will likely appeal to almost everyone, except vegetarians and vegans, of course.
Vegetarians and vegans can substitute the bacon with smoked tofu (see notes below in the recipe).
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Cook the potatoes until a fork can go into them but they remain firm
Towards the end of the cooking of the potatoes, put the green beans (string beans) in a steamer pot above the potatoes and steam until they are firm yet cooked. If you don't have a pot that goes over the potatoes, then cook the string beans in a separate pot, either steamed or in some water. I prefer steamed because they retain their shape better.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon. Remove the rind from the bacon and then cut the bacon along the short side with a scissors or sharp knife into pieces. Put the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Dice the onions and put them with the bacon pieces in the pan with the oil. [After a couple minutes peel and dice an apple and add it to the pan.] Continue cooking over medium heat until everything is cooked well, yet the onions and apples retain some shape.
Slice the cooked potatoes into nice sized pieces and put in a bowl. Drain and add the green beans (string beans) and the bacon.
Put some red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar into the pan and put on a low heat for approximately 1 minute so the vinegar cleans your pan and mixes in with all the remaining grease and flavor [You can use other flavored vinegars. I use sometimes cranberry vinegar along with some homemade red wine vinegar]. Use a spatula to scrape the vinegar mixture on top of your salad bowl. Add more vinegar if needed. Add a splash of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Mix and serve!
For a vegetarian / vegan version, marinate the equivalent amount of tofu in a smoky sauce (or even tamari). If you don't have anything smoky, try adding a little bit of Lapsang tea (ground preferably) to your sauce. Note: a little Lapsang tea goes a long way so add a tiny amount at first and then add more if needed. Remove excess sauce and cook the tofu 1-2 minutes on each side until brown. Use this tofu instead of the bacon in the recipe.
Written by:Belgian Foodie
Salade Liégeoise: Green Beans and Bacon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 684Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 17g
Total Carbohydrates 51g17%
Dietary Fiber 9g36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.