Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bachelor or not, this is a great salad...

Caramelized Fennel Salad ~
Giada DeLaurentiis thinks this is the perfect salad for single guys!

Personally, I don't think most Bachelors could be bothered caramelizing anything to put on top of a salad. I understand her point being that it is an easy, yet elegant dish that anyone could prepare with minimal effort. And by the way it was easy and quite elegant, but most importantly delicious!

I made a few changes to her Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad recipe. Firstly, I used Canadian bacon in place of the pancetta. I don't buy a lot of pancetta, or bacon for that matter, but I do try to have Canadian bacon on hand for dishes that call for some kind of pork fat product. I like to use the Canadian bacon because it is a lot lower in fat and I feel better about eating it. For this recipe, I cut mine in small pieces before roasting them, but I wouldn't do that the next time I make it. The smaller pieces got a little too hard and chewy, although the flavor was great.

Secondly, I cut down the sugar because I didn't want it to be sweet. And it wasn't, it was just enough to help caramelize everything. And we all know that caramelizing is a good thing. It's where all the flavor comes from. YUM!

Caramelized Fennel Salad
Adapted from Giada DiLaurentiis

1 bulb fennel, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
5 slices Canadian bacon, cut in thirds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces (about 6 to 7 cups) Romaine lettuce, or mixed salad greens
Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, toss together fennel, Canadian bacon, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the ingredients on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until the Canadian bacon is crisp and the fennel is caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, place the salad greens, Canadian bacon, and caramelized fennel. Toss the salad with the Red Wine Vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.


Unknown said...

this sounds yummy!!! i was looking for something new for dinner and for some reason clicked on your blog!!! thanks!

Joe said...

We've recently come to love fennel - this looks like a great way to showcase it!

Annie said...

Annie, Great hope it helped.

Joe, Yes-it is a great way to showcase it. I could eat it roasted all by itself!