I recently began subscribing to an organic delivery service—Planet Organics—that transports produce from local farmers straight to your door. Lately the field greens have been gorgeous, particularly the red lettuces and arugula. Challenge: when my family walks in out of the rain or fog, a cold salad is a hard sell. Solution: make it a warm salad, adorned with crispy pancetta, toasty nuts and velvety cheese. Dry cherries counterbalance the the tartness of the apple cider vinegar and add to the complexity of flavors and textures.
Salad with Cherries, Goat Cheese and Warm Pancetta Vinagrette
- 6-8 oz seasonal salad greens washed and torn
- 6 oz goat cheese herbed if available
- 1 Gala or Fuji apple sliced in matchsticks
- 4 oz of pancetta diced
- 2 shallots peeled and minced
- 1/3 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/2 tsp organic thyme dried
- 1/2 tsp organic freeze-dried chives
- 1/2 tsp garlic minced
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
Place greens in large bowl and top with crumbled cheese.
Saute pancetta in your largest skillet until fat is rendered.
Add shallots and continue cooking over low heat until almost translucent.
Sprinkle garlic, thyme and chives on shallots and stir for a few minutes until herbs are fragrant.
Add walnuts, stirring constantly, until toasty. Careful not to burn nuts—do not walk away from stove! (from the voice of experience).
Pour in apple cider and heat until slightly reduced.
Whisk in olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in cherries and continue stirring on low heat for a few minutes.
Pour warm dressing over greens and toss.