Peppery Pancetta Salad

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

Arugula, radicchio and endives.









  • 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

Hello Arugula.









  • Cook the brown rice.

How have they not managed to make rice cookers look any cooler in the passing decades?








  • Cut up the arugula, radicchio and endives then toss together in a bowl.

Purple always makes things look healthier.








Imagine my surprise when this is what endives turned out to be. I was picturing more of a bok choy type thing.








  • 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.

Pancetta - bacon that pretends to be classier.








  • 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.

Keep a careful watch over this so that it just thickens and doesn't burn.








  • 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.

I'm starting to think pancetta should be mandatory in salads.








I let this mixture cool for 5 minutes before adding it.


So good that I insisted on taking home the leftovers!

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