From time to time I see dandelion leaves at the local vegetable market; I really enjoy their bitter notes that add depth when combined with crisp salad greens. Related to wild chicory, the name dandelion comes from French: ‘dente de lion’ or lions tooth which perfectly describes their serrated leaves. However, the salad leaves which I buy are known as pissenlit which refers to the diuretic nature of the root; I am quite sure that you can work out the literal translation of this name into English… hint: lit ~ bed….

Simplicity rules by complimenting the slight bitter taste with juicy lardons, soft boiled quail’s eggs and a very simple dressing.

Choose good quality, tasty lardons and sweat them in a non-stick frying pan until very well cooked but, not coloured then remove and drain them on absorbent kitchen paper. Whilst the lardons cook, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, adding the quail’s eggs for 2 minutes exactly – remove them with a slotted spoon and plunge directly into ice cold water to stop further cooking. Rinse and dry the salad leaves, scatter over the lardons and eggs before serving with vinaigrette, fresh, crusty bread and a glass of chilled white wine.