Warm Pancetta Salad with Polenta Croutons

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Warm Pancetta Salad

So satisfying and delicious, this restaurant-style salad is remarkably easy to make at home. Polenta can be found near the pasta in our grocery aisles. Simply cut the polenta, roll in cornmeal and grated Parmesan, and fry in safflower oil until crisp on the outside. Serve on fresh spring greens for a fantastic salad.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: moderate
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Diet: GF


Polenta Croutons
2 oz dry polenta (coarse cornmeal)
4 oz Parmesan, grated
½ t garlic powder
½ t paprika
pinch of salt
12 oz polenta, cooked (cold, package), cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ c safflower oil

Spring Greens and Warm Pancetta Salad
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
6 oz pancetta, diced
2 oz shallots, slivered
2 oz balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz spring mix lettuces


Polenta Croutons
Combine dry polenta, Parmesan and seasonings. Cut cold polenta into bite-sized pieces. Press polenta into dry mixture, patting on as much as possible. Heat oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add polenta pieces in a single layer without crowding pan and cook until crispy, turning a few times, approx. 5 min total. Drain and set aside; keep warm until ready to assemble salad.

Spring Greens and Warm Pancetta Salad
Heat oil in skillet with diced pancetta. Cook pancetta until crisp, 3 min. Remove pancetta from pan. Add shallots to hot oil, cooking 3 min until golden brown. Add vinegar, seasonings and tomatoes, tossing well to combine. Place lettuce on four serving plates, spooning warm tomato mixture over each salad. Sprinkle pancetta over each and finish with warm polenta croutons. Serve immediately.