Baby Green Salad with Pancetta and Frico
“I want to eat this salad every single day,” says Paige Gould of Portland, Maine's Central Provisions and Tipo. “The creamy dressing, the crisp vegetables, the salty and crunchy pancetta and frico—my mouth is salivating just thinking about it.” While frico is traditionally just browned cheese, this recipe cuts it with breadcrumbs to create a super-cheesy crouton. Double, triple, even quadruple the dressing recipe—it keeps for up to a week in the fridge and goes well with vegetables of all stripes.
- PARMESAN-PEPPERCORN DRESSING:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons vin cotta (or aged balsamic vinegar)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 cups torn day-old focaccia, crust removed
- 2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 10 ¼-inch-thick slices pancetta, diced
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 head radicchio, chopped
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 cups baby kale
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
- DRESSING: Blend first 9 ingredients with 1 tablespoon water in a food processor until smooth. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Stir in Parmigiano Reggiano and chill for at least 2 hours.
- FRICO: Heat oven to 350°F. Pulse focaccia pieces in food processor until fine crumbs form. Add Pecorino Romano, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and pulse 2 to 3 times, until well combined. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and oil the paper. Spread out mixture on prepared baking sheet until it’s ⅓ inch thick. Cover with another piece of oiled parchment paper and top with another baking sheet to flatten. Bake until just starting to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove top baking sheet and parchment paper and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden brown.
- Cool completely, then break into bite-size pieces.
- SALAD: Cook pancetta in a medium sauté pan over medium heat until crispy, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Combine romaine lettuce, radicchio, arugula, kale, radishes, and fennel in a large bowl. Stir in enough dressing to fully coat salad (there may be some left over). Toss well.
- Top with pancetta, frico, black pepper, and grated cheese. Serve immediately.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/
Photography by Erin Little