Hot Pancetta and Radicchio Salad

September 11, 2009

Dirty Pancetta Salad

Salad for a Holiday

I found a lovely and large-ish head of pretty purple radicchio at the market. Well, I didn’t exactly find it – it was sitting amidst other radicchio in a basket so I bought it. I don’t often buy radicchio at home, it seems expensive. Much better to fly Italy for a few weeks to find some at a fairer price. I always order a hot bacon and radicchio Caesar at one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver. I’ve been meaning to make this for a while.

Serves 2

1 head of radicchio, found for a reasonable price, finely shredded into ribbons – a chiffonade, if you will

6 exceptionally thin slices of pancetta

1 large egg yolk

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper

Place ribbons of radicchio in a large bowl and set aside. Pre-heat a medium-sized skillet over high heat, add pancetta and cook until sizzled and crisp, taste a small piece. In fact, maybe cook 7 pieces so that you have a whole piece to snack on. Remove pancetta to a paper towel to drain. Reserve pancetta fat, in pan, if you dare. In a small, heatproof bowl, whisk yolk with minced garlic and lemon juice. Place over a small pot of barely simmering water and slowly whisk in olive oil. Whisk constantly until dressing has thickened slightly, remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and pour warm dressing over waiting radicchio. If you’re on holiday, throw good judgement into lavender-scented wind and drizzle warm pancetta fat over salad, too. I’m not confessing I did this, I’m merely suggesting that one could if one was inclined. Toss salad and crumble crisp, salty pancetta over and dive in.

Radicchio

Radicchio

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