This easy salad recipe is a twist on the classic French Bistro salad and it’s perfect for brunch. Wait, who says you can’t have a salad for brunch? When there’s a poached egg, bacon and broiled cherry tomatoes involved it’ll be hard to resist. Before we get to the brunch salad recipe, I want to tell you about when I met my husband and how I knew he was the guy for me.

French Bistro Brunch Salad with Poached Egg and Broiled Cherry Tomatoes by Katie Webster on

How I Knew My Husband Was Mr. Right

When I was in my early twenties, before I met my husband, I had a running joke with my friends that I was holding out for Mr. Right. And I would know him when I found him because I had a litmus test. Two deal breakers which would indicate whether or not we were a good match. One, he had to love olives. {I mean, duh.} Two, he had to have a compost heap.

Okay I know the compost thing is strange and funny, it’s also kind of awesome. Hear me out. The olives and compost thing say a lot about a guy. Really. It means he’s into food and into the environment (also maybe a little adventurous and not afraid to get a little dirty). Right? These were two things that I was looking for in a guy. Deal breakers. Katie’s olive and compost soul mate litmus test.

Jase and me at the Telluride Bluegrass Fest in 1999

Fast forward to me moving to Vermont, and about a week into dating Jase. I think I had already asked him about the olive situation, and he assured me that at every Webster family gathering there was always a bowl of olives on the food spread. Phew. Because I was thinking that I really liked this guy.

But then there was the compost question. The trouble was that Jase was renting an apartment in Burlington. And he lived on the second floor. He was finishing his 5th year of college (don’t ask why it took him that long.) I learned that all was not lost because he had something better than a compost pile. He had a living machine.

What the heck is a living machine? Basically it’s like a really cool and natural way to process wastewater through the use of plants and fish. It’s like a man made wetland that filters out the yuck. No chlorine! You can read about it here, and how they are being used today.

I say that he had a living machine, but it wasn’t actually HIS OWN living machine. He was taking care/studying about how they worked with his classmates at the University of Vermont. His professor, John Todd, the father of this technology, had built a system in a greenhouse at the Burlington Intervale and they used the living machine to treat waste water with plants and fish (tilapia).

So while this wasn’t exactly a compost pile, and he didn’t actually own it, it ranked WAY higher on the olives and compost soul mates litmus test. This guy was for me. And that Jase was super into it too didn’t hurt.

By “way into it”, I mean that things got a little stinky. When we moved into our own apartment together in Burlington, Jase decided that he did in fact want his OWN living machine. So he built one. In our dining room. With 5 gallon buckets. And he seeded it with pond muck he scooped off the swamp on the side of the road on Kennedy Drive. (See what I mean, single ladies? What a dreamboat! See what I mean about the olives and compost test? Amiright? That’s how you find the good ones!)

Ohmuhgah you guys. A living machine in our apartment….but the problem was that while I did think this thing was really cool, it really stank. And there was a major flaw. There were no fish! The green slime just kept growing and growing! Things got out of hand. We stopped eating in the dining room. I was afraid of the swamp monster crawling out of it. Finally he agreed to dump it out.

Guess where he did. In our compost pile, of course. True love.

Finn and Roots lettuces

Creating This French Bistro Brunch Salad Recipe

I hadn’t thought of that dang living machine in forever until I was shopping at Healthy Living and saw some beautiful new lettuces. They looked so amazing and they had the Local sign on them! And they were “eco grown.” Finn & Roots is the farm. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the labels said “Fish and Greens Grown in Harmony” on them. What the??? Were these gorgeous lettuces grown in a living machine??? I think I had found my true love of local lettuces!

I am so obsessed, you guys! I’ve gotten a few different varieties now. My favorites are the Crisp Green and the Uplands Cress. They are so tender and delicate. Perfect for this time of year. And Salad Month!

I used them as the base for this French Bistro Brunch Salad! Say whattttttt? Oh yes I did. It’s a little wacky to eat raw greens for brunch. I know. But it is so divine. The mildness of these greens, and the faintly sweet honey tarragon vinaigrette is perfect for brunch. And the eggs, potatoes and bacon… well, think of them as the breakfast gateway ingredients to get everyone on board with the BRUNCH SALAD train!

Brunch Salad with Poached Eggs, Broiled Cherry Tomatoes, Bacon and Potatoes. An amazingly satisfying and gluten-free entree salad for brunch.


Did you (or do you) have any deal breakers for a potential partner?

Have you ever heard of or seen a living machine? Vermonters- there’s one at the Sharon rest area. Have you seen it?

What would you do if you had the swamp monster growing in your dining room?

What do you say to brunch salad? Am I all alone here in thinking it’s a-okay?

Thanks so much for reading my friends. Happy Cooking!


Don’t miss this Ultimate Guide to Tomatoes!

More Easy Salad Recipes:

Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs

Roasted Garlic Caesar Salad

Chopped Winter Salad

Kale Salad with Blueberries, Manchego and Pumpkin Seed Clusters

Southwest Cobb Kale Salad

Don’t miss this Ultimate Guide to Lettuce!

Brunch Salad | Healthy Seasonal Recipes | glutenfree

french bistro brunch salad with a poached egg and broiled cherry tomatoes

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French


This French Bistro Brunch Salad features a poached egg, bacon, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes. It’s a healthy and hearty salad that’s super easy to make!



  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ teaspoons Herbs de Provence
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper to taste
  • 12 fingerling potatoes, cut in half
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar, plus a splash for poaching liquid
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 cups spinach or green lettuce
  • 2 to 4 cup frisee and/or cress
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled


  1. Arrange oven rack in upper third of oven. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Toss tomatoes with 2 teaspoons oil, herbs de Provence, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and broil until the tomatoes are soft and starting to blister, 4 to 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, steam potatoes in a steamer basket in a medium saucepan until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup tablespoons oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey and tarragon in a jar. Shake to combine.
  5. Bring several inches of water plus a splash of vinegar to a boil over high heat in a wide sauté pan or deep skillet. Crack eggs one at a time into a small ramekin and then slide into the water. Keep an eye on the boil/simmer of the water. The temperature of the water should drop from the cold eggs. When it comes back up to a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. If the water is boiling, reduce heat. Cook eggs 4 minutes for runny yolks. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a clean towel.
  6. To assemble salads: divide spinach among four large plates. Top with a quarter of the friesee each. Arrange the tomatoes, potatoes and bacon over the greens. Drizzle on the dressing. Top with the poached egg and serve immediately.


  • Serving Size: 1 salad
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Fat: 28 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 17 g

{DISCOLSURE: I am a brand ambassador for Healthy Living Market, and as such, I receive a discount when I shop there. I was not asked to write this post and all opinions expressed here are my own.}


A bunch of food on a plate, with Salad and Egg