Warm Green Bean and Pancetta Salad
Now this is a salad made for summer – fresh garden green beans, ripe tomatoes, Parmesan, and pancetta. You can substitute bacon for the pancetta, but if pancetta is available, we recommend using it. The flavor works marvelously well with the other ingredients.
- 2 medium sized ripe tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar (a mild, flavorful wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 pound of fresh green beans, ends trimmed, strings removed (if any), halved if very long
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano) shavings, chopped
1 Core the tomatoes. Slice them in half horizontally and gently squeeze out most of the seeds and juice. (Alternatively, you can use your fingers to gently remove the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes.) Chop the tomatoes into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
2 In a small bowl, mix the honey and sherry vinegar. Set aside.
3 Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Cook the strips of pancetta in batches until golden and crisp. Let drain on a paper towel set over a plate to absorb the excess fat. Discard all but 1 Tbsp of the fat remaining in the pan (don't put down the drain or you'll clog your drain when the fat cools). Add 3 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan, set aside. Chop the pancetta.
4 Bring a medium saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans. Put beans into a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes.
5 Heat the oil in the skillet that was used to cook the pancetta on medium heat. Whisk in the vinegar honey mixture. Turn the heat up and continue to whisk as the mixture boils and blends. Pour out the hot dressing on to the beans and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped pancetta and Parmesan and toss.