Writing about Capri today, I savor the thought of fresh cherry tomatoes with wild arugula, a signature summer dish with fruity extra-virgin olive oil.
But in February, I am in Colorado, and this winter salad strikes a cord. It has a European sensibility and taste for a winter’s want for something light and tasty.
This recipe came from my friend, Frank Stitt, perhaps my favorite American chef and southern gentleman. His restaurants Highlands Bar and Grill and Bottega, in Birmingham, Alabama are unbelievably good. His flavors, produce and know-how are completely authentic. I stepped into Bottega for the first time 8 years ago, ordered a fried oyster salad and fell in love. I said to the waiter, “Who is this man?!”
This recipe comes from Bottega Favoritia: A Southern Chef’s Love Affair With Italian Food.
TUSCAN EGG SALAD WITH YOUNG LETTUCES
A winter salad sure to please, as we look forward to the brightness of spring.
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta in one piece, unrolled and cut into lardoons (1/4 by 1/4 strip)
1 shallot finely chopped
8 very fresh organic eggs
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups of mixed young lettuces, such as frisee, arugula, young big and romaine
2-3 T of Sherry vinegar
4 slices of baguette
Warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes, until it just begins to crisp and render it’s fat. Add the shallots and cook for one minute until softened.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs and season with sea salt an pepper. Pour the eggs into the sauté pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the eggs are just set, 2-3 minutes.
Combine the lettuces in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the vinaigrette and toss.
Add the warm eggs to the salad greens and toss lightly. Divide the “egg salad” among four plates and garnish with toasts.
Recommended wine: Vernaccia di San Gimignano.