Wilted Escarole Salad With Pancetta And Garlic
|Escarole head||2 Large|
|Pancetta/Bacon slab||1⁄2 Pound, cut into 1/4-inch dice|
|Olive oil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Garlic cloves||24 Large, peeled|
|Brine cured black olives||24 (Preferably Calamata)|
|Lemon juice||2 Tablespoon|
|Lemons||2 , cut into wedges|
1. Trim away the ends and any wilted outer leaves of the escarole. Separate the leaves, wash them well and dry. Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces, wrap and refrigerate. (The escarole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.)
2. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, blanch the pancetta for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
3. Set a large deep nonreactive skillet or flameproof casserole over moderately low heat and add the pancetta. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a small bowl. Discard the fat and wipe the skillet clean.
4. Return the skillet to moderately low heat, add the olive oil and garlic cloves and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the bowl with the pancetta; reserve the oil in the skillet. (The salad can be prepared to this point up to 3 hours before serving. Leave the oil in the skillet and rewarm over moderate heat before proceeding.)
5. Add the olives to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the escarole, pancetta and garlic cloves, toss to coat with oil, cover and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle on the lemon juice, toss again, remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 1 minute before serving.
6. Divide the salad among 6 plates and garnish with wedges of lemon to squeeze onto the salads to taste.