The "Dreaming Man” Salad

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, cut as single slice and then diced into half inch pieces
2 cups day old bread, cut into quarter inch cubes
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
6 ounces of your favorite salad mix (I prefer something with radicchio, romaine and arugula in it.)
4 tablespoon blue cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon balsamic or white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon C&H® or Domino® sugar (optional)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees

Pour the oil in a sauté pan and cook over medium heat until hot then add the pancetta. Cook until it starts to brown, about three to four minutes.

Using a slotted spoon remove the pancetta from the pan, place in a bowl and set aside.

Pour the cooking oil from the pancetta into a large mixing bowl. Add the bread cubes and parmesan cheese and mix it all together until most of the oil has been absorbed by the bread.

Place the bread on a nonstick oven pan and bake on low heat. This will dry the bread pieces and turn them into croutons. Depending on the pan and the oven it might take anywhere between 45 minutes and one hour. To be safe check the pan every 20 minutes.

Alternatively, you could toast the bread pieces in a large nonstick pan which you would preheat on the stove on high heat. Then you would add the bread cubes, reduce the heat to medium and cook the bread pieces in the pan until they are toasted through and through, about eight to ten minutes.

It works well but it requires total concentration, you cannot walk away while you do it. The oven technique is much easier.

Once the croutons are ready and have cooled to room temperature, we are ready to assemble the salad.

In a large mixing bowl add the salad mix you have chosen. Then add half of the blue and parmesan cheeses, half of the croutons and half of the cooked pancetta pieces.

Sprinkle the mixture with sugar then salt and pepper to taste. Add the vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil and using your hands, mix it all well to dress the salad.

Serve the salad in individual pasta bowls, by placing first a good amount of the dressed salad in the dish, top it with a mixture of the leftover cheeses, croutons and pancetta

Place another mound of the dressed salad on top and finish by decorating it with more croutons, cheese and pancetta.

If you have a pepper mill add some fresh ground pepper it will add nicely to the flavor.

Your dream salad is ready to be served.