Warm Red Lettuce and Butter Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radish Chips

8 Nov

Can salads be comfort food?  This salad definitively and resoundingly answers, “Yes!”

As you may be able to tell from the limited number of salad recipes on this blog, salads are not something I make at home a lot.  I order them when we go out, but they just aren’t at the top of my list when it comes to things to make at home.  However, the abundance of lettuce and greens we received from the CSA this week led me to believe I might need to change my tune.  I was surprised to find that I was excessively excited about making this warm salad.  I looked forward to it all day.  I made the radish chips hours before dinner (and should have doubled the recipe, because they make an amazing snack!).  I typed up this recipe in anticipation.  I salivated at the thought of it, thinking of a new things to add as the day went on.  Why not mushrooms, I asked myself?  Why not some almonds?

I was not disappointed in this salad, even after hours of daydreaming.  It was warm, delicious, comforting, and filling.  I suppose I can’t take too much credit – fresh ingredients really elevate even the humblest dishes to something fantastic, as this dish demonstrates.

Warm Red Lettuce and Butter Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radish Chips

Salad:

1 15 oz. can butter beans, drained and rinsed

1 head red (Annapolis) lettuce, quartered (roughly 10 cups, packed)

2 cups whole crimini mushrooms, quartered

2 oz. pancetta, diced

2 tbs. balsamic vinegar

Freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup raw sliced almonds

In a large skillet, sauté pancetta 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until slightly crispy and some of the fat has rendered.  Add the mushrooms and sauté 8-10 minutes until they have let off most of their moisture and are well-caramelized.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat.  Add almonds and toast 1-2 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside.

Add butter beans to pan with pancetta drippings and sauté 3-4 minutes until heated through.  Add balsamic vinegar, red lettuce, and toasted almonds.  Stir well and toss to combine and coat lettuce thoroughly with pancetta drippings and balsamic vinegar.  Season with additional freshly cracked black pepper.  Sauté 1-2 minutes until very slightly wilted.  Remove from sauté pan and top with radish chips (see below).

Radish Chips:

Adapted from caloriecount.com

2 salad garnish portions:

3 medium radishes, thinly sliced

Freshly cracked black pepper

Kosher salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried parsley

Non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350º.

Steam thinly sliced radishes for about 3 minutes until slightly tender with a bit of a crunch.   Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place radish slices in single layer on baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Season with freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and half of garlic powder and dried parsley.  Flip radishes and spray again with non-stick cooking spray.  Season again with freshly cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and remaining garlic powder and dried parsley.

Bake chips 10 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 10 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.

Let cool, uncovered, before storing.

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2 Responses to “Warm Red Lettuce and Butter Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radish Chips”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Radish and Kohlrabi Top Soup and Roasted Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Pine Nuts « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - November 8, 2010

    […] 1 batch radish chips […]

  2. Geauga Family Farms CSA – Week Two « Kelseyincleveland's Blog - November 13, 2010

    […]  Most of the meat we did consume was complimentary to the dish (for example, the pancetta in the Warm Lettuce and Butter Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radish Chips) – more of a garnish than a serving – or was in stock form.  Overall, our meals this […]

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