recipes barefoot contessa

Caesar Salad with Pancetta (Serves 6 to 8)

Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved


Photo: James Merrell

3/4 pound pancetta, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 pints cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large heads Romaine lettuce
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for the dressing
1 extra-large egg yolk at room temperature (see note)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
8 to 10 anchovy fillets (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

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 yolk, 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) and process until thick. Add 1/2 cup 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 to 8 plates and sprinkle with the pancetta and roasted tomatoes.