Thursday, September 8, 2016

CHOPPED SALAD WITH PANCETTA, ROMANO CHEESE, & MINT

This salad is similar to a Caesar salad with a few additions. I added a coddled egg instead of a raw egg, and it gives the salad dressing a smoother creamier texture. You can use bacon in place of the pancetta, but this is, after all, an Italian-American salad.


4 slices pancetta, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) chopped Italian crusty bread
Enough mixed lettuce or Romaine for 4 salad plates, chopped or torn
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup (60 ml) coarsely chopped mint leaves
2 T (30 ml) chopped oregano leaves
2 T (30 ml) chopped red onion

1 large egg, room temperature

In a non-stick skillet, cook pancetta until crispy.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Pour out most of the grease from the skillet and add the chopped bread.
Cook over medium heat until golden on all sides.
Place toasted croutons in a bowl and set aside.

Rinse and spin-dry the lettuce and place in a large salad bowl.
Slice the tomatoes in half and set aside.

Add the mint, oregano, and red onion to the salad bowl.

Bring a tea kettle of water to a boil.
Place the egg into a coffee mug and pour hot water to cover egg.
Set a timer and let egg sit in hot water for one minute, to coddle.
Remove egg to a bowl with ice water to chill for a couple of minutes.

Dressing
2 T (30 ml) lemon juice
1 T (15 ml) champagne or white wine vinegar
1 coddled egg
1 clove garlic, push through a garlic press or finely minced
2 t (10 ml) Dijon mustard
⅓ cup (75 ml) extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup (75 ml) grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, add the lemon juice and vinegar.
Crack the coddled egg into the bowl and whisk briskly.
Whisk in the garlic, mustard, olive oil, and a little of the Romano cheese. 
Whisk until the mixture thickens.

Pour dressing over the salad, add the tomatoes and the croutons, and toss to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide between 4 salad plates and sprinkle with the rest of the Romano cheese.

Serves 4

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