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Roasted Fig & Pancetta Salad

Autumn 2019
F201905006.jpg
food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

This salad is Italian simplicity at its best: warm figs, salty pancetta and an easy dressing. Do purchase the best aged balsamic vinegar you can find—it really does make a difference. I’ll admit they can be expensive, starting at about $20 a bottle, but the investment is worth every penny. Balsamic syrup is a thrifty option and is available at most grocers. It approximates the flavour somewhat and is a better option than the thin, acidic mass-market balsamic. You can swap the syrup 1:1 for the aged vinegar.

1 medium-sized head frisée
1 bunch watercress
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp (60 mL plus 15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
9 ripe Mission figs, stemmed and halved
4 slices roll-style pancetta, ⅛-inch-thick (3-mm) slices, diced
4 tsp (20 mL) aged balsamic vinegar 

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2 Tear frisée into bite-sized pieces; trim tough stems from watercress. Wash greens and dry carefully. Arrange on a large platter, drizzle with ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

3 Toss figs with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil and arrange cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through and softened.

4 Meanwhile, fry pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until just beginning to crisp. Tip contents of pan, including rendered fat, evenly over greens. Arrange warm figs overtop and tip collected juices, if any, over salad.

5 Drizzle with balsamic and serve right away.

Serves 6

F201905006.jpg
food and drink

Roasted Fig & Pancetta Salad

Autumn 2019

BY: Christopher St. Onge

This salad is Italian simplicity at its best: warm figs, salty pancetta and an easy dressing. Do purchase the best aged balsamic vinegar you can find—it really does make a difference. I’ll admit they can be expensive, starting at about $20 a bottle, but the investment is worth every penny. Balsamic syrup is a thrifty option and is available at most grocers. It approximates the flavour somewhat and is a better option than the thin, acidic mass-market balsamic. You can swap the syrup 1:1 for the aged vinegar.

1 medium-sized head frisée
1 bunch watercress
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp (60 mL plus 15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
9 ripe Mission figs, stemmed and halved
4 slices roll-style pancetta, ⅛-inch-thick (3-mm) slices, diced
4 tsp (20 mL) aged balsamic vinegar 

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2 Tear frisée into bite-sized pieces; trim tough stems from watercress. Wash greens and dry carefully. Arrange on a large platter, drizzle with ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

3 Toss figs with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil and arrange cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until warmed through and softened.

4 Meanwhile, fry pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until just beginning to crisp. Tip contents of pan, including rendered fat, evenly over greens. Arrange warm figs overtop and tip collected juices, if any, over salad.

5 Drizzle with balsamic and serve right away.

Serves 6

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