Cesare Casella's Pontormo Salad with Pancetta and Egg

October 28, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Linda Pugliese
  • Serves 1
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.

Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Akiko
  • amysarah
  • ChefJune
  • Susan W
    Susan W
  • Leslie
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

9 Reviews

Sarah C. November 3, 2014
I have made this yummy salad a few times but have been tentative with the vinegar quantity. 2 tablespoons per person would be too much based on what I have used so far.... I am wondering if I am using the wrong brand of vinegar (I generally use a TJ balsamic and WF red wine for dressing) or if there is a typo for the amount one should use? Thanks.
Akiko November 2, 2014
Great salad. We made this for our Sunday lunch. We used one and half medium size Romain lettuce for two person ... and easily ate up all ... :D
amysarah October 31, 2014
We just call it "Scrambled Egg Salad", but I've been making a version of this (with varying ingredients) for many years - I generally use whatever lettuce is in the fridge (less a recipe than an impromptu thing around here,) but I think a sturdy one, like Romaine, works best. It retains some raw crunch when tossed with the hot eggs, which is, for me, key to the deliciousness.
ChefJune October 31, 2014
When I think of "sturdy" lettuce, varieties like romaine and escarole come to mind. I think escarole would be great in this salad.
Susan W. October 31, 2014
The notes mention "sturdier lettuces available in winter" so I definitely wouldn't use butter lettuce or mesclen. The opposite of a delicate lettuce is what I would use when the method of combining warm/hot ingredients over the lettuce. The butter lettuce looks really pretty in the picture though.
Will Y. October 30, 2014
Hmmm....this looks SO good I have to comment. But the difference between butter lettuce (which I assumed might be the lettuce of choice on this - and somewhat easily available even here in hawaii) and arugula (peppery) and radicchio (bitter) are astounding. So, dear Kristen, why is that? If no answer, I shall assume, the softer butter lettuce, bib lettuce and such. What a wonderful recipe...I shall look forward to preparing it.
Leslie October 29, 2014
Is there a way to find out the calorie count, etc.
Miche October 29, 2014
THe recipe calls for delicate lettuce, but the lettuce in the pics looks pretty rugged, almost like romaine. Which do you recommend?
Kristen M. October 29, 2014
The lettuce I used for the photos was something resembling green leaf from the greenmarket, but I think this could work nicely with most other lettuces. I don't like flimsy boxed spring mixes from the grocery store (and I don't think they'd be very good here), but anything from butter lettuce to arugula to radicchio would be nice, depending on what you're in the mood for.