Roast Potato & Fennel Salad with Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette

28 Mar

With the warmer weather coming our way, why don’t you try this lovely salad. Another recipe from my fabulous friend Jennifer who has allowed us some delicious recipes from her own private recipe book ‘Southern Belle’ she bakes and cooks for many events and I have been lucky enough to try her food! It’s Yum! Dont forget to try baking her apple and cinnamon muffins I have also posted.

Roast Potato & Fennel Salad with Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette

This recipe satisfies a winter craving for a warm, hearty salad when there’s very little in season except root vegetables and fennel! I love the combination of crisp roast potatoes with the sweet, caramelised fennel and salty pancetta. The dressing is whisked together in a sauté pan and the apple cider vinegar really makes these simple flavours sing.
The salad is ready in the time it takes for the potatoes to roast. I tend to chop them on the small side so they don’t take as long to cook. Serve this salad with crusty bread or a shop bought roast chicken for a satisfying week night dinner.

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Yield:

4 Servings

Ingredients:

500g charlotte or other variety small salad potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 fennel bulb, core and stalk removed, thinly sliced cross wise
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 small bags or 1 large bag mixed salad leaves (I prefer the watercress, rocket and spinach combo)
400g pancetta cubes
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Place the chopped potatoes and fennel slices on a roasting tray, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until the potatoes are well coated. Spread the vegetables into one single layer and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until tender, golden brown and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning.

While the potatoes cook, place the salad leaves in a large serving bowl.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the pancetta cubes and fry until crisp. Remove the cubes from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on some paper towels to drain.

Add the Dijon mustard, garlic and cider vinegar to the pan with the pancetta drippings, whisking thoroughly over low heat. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Add the warm potatoes, fennel and cooked pancetta cubes to the salad leaves. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly to combine. Garnish with parmesan cheese. I prefer thin shavings made with a vegetable peeler for this salad. Enjoy!

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