Anything with pancetta on it just has to be good.
Several years ago we were in Italy and had some of the most wonderful food. I packed a little menu dictionary to translate menu items from Italian to English. We kept seeing “rocket” salad on the menu and finally ordered it and found out it was arugula. We had been eating arugula for years, but “rocket” salad sound so much more interesting.
It was so much fun trying to pronounce things from the “Italian” menu (we never asked for the English menu), and all the waiters were so patient with us trying to work our way through reading the menus. If we pronounced something wrong, they would just smile and tell us the correct way of saying the item.
I didn’t grow up eating fancy lettuces like arugula, Belgium endive, mache, radicchio, or frizee. My dad had a wonderful garden every year but in the way of lettuce he would grow curly leaf lettuce or red leaf lettuce which my mother would turn into this delicious wilted lettuce salad with fried bacon crumbles, green onions and hard boiled eggs.
I have definitely acquired a taste for all the above mentioned lettuce greens, although I haven’t master cooking kale, turnip, or collard greens.
This salad starts off with the freshest, tastiest peaches you can find. Then a bunch of arugula. The day I shopped I could only find organic arugula which was under $2.00 a bunch which surprised me.
I think the next time I make this salad, and there will definitely be a next time, I will use part arugula and part baby spinach. My husband likes arugula but I think he would like this salad better if it wasn’t so peppery. (I loved it though)
The original recipe did call for bacon instead of pancetta but when I buy pancetta at the deli I have them cut it about 1/8″ thick and get 6-8 slices and keep it in the freezer for topping salads or soups. I happened to have some on hand, so I used pancetta in place of the bacon.
I am using my ula and the board that my sister brought back from Alaska. I love using this handy chopper and it does a fantastic job of mincing things.
Something else I will be adding to this salad the next time I make it is avocado. After eating this salad, I think the avocado would be a great pairing with the peaches. I may also try trading out the shallots with some finely minced red onion.
Peach and Arugula Salad with Pancetta Chips
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp. minced shallots
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 bunches arugula (or use 1 bunch spinach)
3-4 ripe medium peaches, peeled and sliced
Avocado, optional (I will be adding this the next time)
In a skillet, cook the bacon or pancetta until browned. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
In a small bowl, whisk the parsley, oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper until dressing is blended.
In a large bowl, toss the arugula (and/or spinach) and peaches with the dressing until coated. Sprinkle with bacon and serve. Top with avocado if desired and your arugula croutons.