Author Notes: I think I can safely say that every meal I fix these days is somehow inspired by the meal I had at Animal, in Los Angeles. Of course, they would scoff at the veggies present in this dish, and question the lack of fried egg on top, but I wanted to take the experience and apply it to my own vision, as every good art student is taught. What inspired this was a crunchy, salty, spicy, sour revelation that came in the form of pig ears. Those pig ears had been braised until tender, sliced thin and fried until crispy, tossed with a chili-lime vinaigrette and topped with a fried quail egg. One of the best things I have ever eaten. - checker —checker
Food52 Review: I looked at this salad’s photo and it pulled me right in. After I read the ingredients it had an even bigger appeal: Crunchy meat on top of some of my favorite crunchy vegetables, then bathed in a savory, citrusy and spicy vinaigrette? Asides from a fabulous combination of ingredients (so many of my favorite ones!) and taste this salad helps give the word “salad” much needed prestige and shows how it should not be relegated to a side dish, but be a luscious main meal. The only thing I may be tempted to add is some thick slices of ripe, buttery avocado. —Pati Jinich
Chili-Lime Vinaigrette and Quick-Pickled Radishes and Carrots
2 medium jalapenos, finely minced, your call on the seeds
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
juice of one large lime
4 large radishes, sliced
4 small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
- Combine the first three ingredients in a lidded container and leave it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Combine the last six ingredients in a lidded container and leave it in the fridge for about an hour, or until ready to use.
Pancetta Slaw with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette
½ head of cabbage
15 rashers of pancetta
Quick-Pickled Radishes and Carrots
A couple of leaves of fresh chopped purple basil for garnish
- Slice the cabbage into thin strips and toss to separate. Cut any long pieces so that you have individual strips that are a couple of inches long, like a slaw. Remove any tough white parts near the core or at the ribs.
- Slice the rashers of pancetta into half-inch strips.
- Set a skillet over medium-low heat and quickly fry the pancetta strips. Set on a paper towel to drain.
- Drain the Quick-Pickled Radishes and Carrots and discard the juice.
- In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage and Quick-Pickled Radishes and Carrots. Slowly poor the Chili-Lime Vinaigrette over the slaw, tasting as you go until you get a flavor you like.
- Top with the crispy pancetta.
- Scatter a little chopped purple basil over and serve.
- This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili Pepper Recipe