Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Kale, Apple, and Pancetta Salad

This is a great hearty salad to serve during the holidays. It is packed with nutritional value and tastes delicious. Not only that, but it is gluten-free and can easily become vegetarian without the pancetta.
Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small head radicchio, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
  • 2 tart-yet-sweet apples, such as Fuji or Honeycrisp, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 3/4 cup pecans, toastedInstructions
  1. Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta to cool off on the side. Add the Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to the pan drippings and whisk well.
  2. Combine the radicchio, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl.  Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until the salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta.

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kale-apple-pancetta-salad

Photo Credit: onceuponachef.com

Made with shredded kale, radicchio, crisp pancetta, tart apples, pecans and a zingy maple vinaigrette, this beautiful fall salad touches all your taste sensations. It’s wildly addictive — even my husband, who is not much of a salad guy, cannot get enough of it.

To begin, cook the pancetta, which is simply Italian bacon. Instead of being smoked like American bacon, pancetta is cured with salt and spices and then dried. You can find it in the deli at most supermarkets and sometimes precut and packaged in the refrigerated gourmet foods aisle. Combine it with the olive oil in a small pan and fry over medium heat until crisp.

Strain the oil and pancetta drippings into a bowl. This will be the base for your vinaigrette. Set the pancetta aside — it will be a delicious topping for your salad.

Next, remove the kale leaves from the tough stems.

Shred them with a sharp knife, along with the radicchio. Cut the apples into wide matchsticks, leaving the skin on.

Complete the vinaigrette by whisking in Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper.

Toss the vinaigrette with the vegetables and pecans.

Full recipe here.

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