Cesare Casella's Pontormo Salad with Pancetta and Egg

By • October 28, 2014 10 Comments

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Author Notes: A rare salad that will be all you'll want for dinner tonight -- by breaking all the rules.
Lettuce, especially the sturdier kinds available in the fall and winter, can take some well-intended roughness. You can pour a pan of hot, crispy pancetta and scrambled eggs on it and it won't collapse in ruins. It will warm, then soften, then settle in to the rich bath. Recipe adapted from Cesare Casella, chef-owner of Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto in New York.

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Serves 1

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 ounces diced pancetta
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ounce mesclun or other delicate lettuce, cut into 3/4-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small skillet over medium-high heat, combine the oil, pancetta, and herbs. Cook to render some of the fat from the pancetta, but do not brown. Crack the eggs into a bowl, but do not whisk. Pour the eggs into the pan and cook, stirring over medium-low heat with a rubber spatula, until the eggs are lightly scrambled and still very soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove the pan from heat to keep the eggs from overcooking. In a bowl, toss the lettuce with a drizzle of both vinegars. Add the eggs and toss. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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