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Caesar Salad With Pancetta

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Ingredients

  • DRESSING:
  • 3/4 pound pancetta sliced 1/2" thick
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large romaine lettuce heads
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 large cloves garlic chopped
  • 8 anchovy fillets - (to 10) optional
  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice - (3 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good mild olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Details

Servings 6

Preparation

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the pancetta into 1/2-inch cubes and cook it in a skillet over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain.

Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft.

Wash the lettuce leaves carefully and spin-dry in a salad spinner. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and cut them crosswise into 1 1/2-inch slices. Place them in a large mixing bowl.

For the dressing, place the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube (as though you were making mayonnaise), until thick. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and pulse 3 times.

Toss the lettuce with enough dressing to moisten well. Add 1 cup grated Parmesan and toss. Divide the lettuce among 6 or 8 plates and sprinkle with the pancetta roasted tomatoes. Serve at room temperature.

This recipe yields 6 to 8 servings.

If you're nervous about raw egg yolks, substitue 2 tablespoons of real mayonnaise.

Pancetta is Italian bacon. You can find it in your Italian grocery or a specialty food store. Insist that it's cut 1/2-inch thick.

Caution: The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of foodborne illness. Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell..."

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