First. This recipe called for a grain named “farro.” I could not find it anywhere… in the two stores I went to. After Googling what exactly farro is, I decided brown rice would be a fine substitute.
I had to make a pretty big salad for a New Year’s Eve potluck, and I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for ages. So I figured now was the time.
The radicchio and arugula make this salad so peppery and much more interesting than just plain lettuce. And who can argue with frying cherry tomatoes in pancetta fat?
Feel free to replace the brown rice with some type of grain. Or you can leave it out completely.
Peppery Pancetta Salad
- 1 cup brown rice
- 4 -6 cups arugula, stems discarded, leaves torn to bite-sized pieces
- 1 head radicchio, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 large Belgian endive, cored and cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ lb pancetta, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 1 basket cherry tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 -3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Cook the brown rice.
- Cut up the arugula, radicchio and endives then toss together in a bowl.
- Chop up your pancetta.
- Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until slightly crispy.
- Remove pancetta from pan and let it drain on some paper towel. Save the remaining fat in the pan.
- Add remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the skillet and add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook until the tomatoes get soft and wrinkly.
- Add balsamic vinegar to the pan. Let it reduce and thicken slightly.
- Add the brown rice and pancetta to the bowl of arugula, radicchio and endive. Pour the warm balsamic mixture over the salad and mix. The greens should wilt a little bit.