The part of Switzerland where I lived was an Italian canton. This meant the culture - language, food, and customs - were Italian flare on Swiss time. I had exhausted the bruschetta recipe and was in search of a panzanella when I found this recipe. I changed it a little bit from Tyler Florence’s recipe, mainly by using cut up jarred beets and sautéing the pancetta with the shallots and herbs. I love the combinations here: beets, orange, honey, and goat cheese; arugula, dates, and pancetta. It all just works.
I returned to the States to pick up Camden from the Manns in Lynchburg and then raced to Nashville and the VFW just in time for an Ugly Sweater Christmas party. Morgan, aka Mongo, loved this recipe. It’s always a compliment when a man gets second helpings of “salad,” even if it is a “bread salad.”
1 jar of pickled beets, chop in bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup plus 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 sprigs marjoram, thyme, and oregano
Salt and pepper
4 slices pancetta, sliced into small pieces
1 log goat cheese, refrigerated
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 orange, juiced
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 handful dates
1 large handful arugula
~ Preheat the oven to 350º F.
~ Sauté shallots, herbs, and pancetta.
~ Meanwhile refrigerate goat cheese so it is easier to break up over the salad later.
~ Toss the bread pieces with 1⁄4 cup oil until the bread is wet with the oil.
~ Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake until the bread begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
~ In a large mixing bowl, add honey, lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, 4 tablespoons oil,
salt, pepper, and stir together.
~ Add all the remaining ingredients except arugula and gently stir.
~ Stir together and season with salt and pepper.
~ Add pancetta mixture, arugula, and crumble goat cheese.