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DAVID LOVETT'S BUTTER BEANS, SMOKED PANCETTA, BITTER LEAVES AND HERBS

DAVID LOVETT'S BUTTER BEANS, SMOKED PANCETTA, BITTER LEAVES AND HERBS

A wonderful and slightly different approach to using pancetta is to use the rendered fat in the dressing, adding an extra layer of smokiness. This dish is crispy from the pancetta, creamy from the beans, fresh from the leaves, and sharp from the vinegar. The perfect lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin butter beans, drained & rinsed 
  • 200g smoked pancetta, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 300g mixed bitter or peppery leaves (radicchio, witlof, rocket, chicory, watercress, upland cress, or endive are all good).
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced 
  • A handful of one or a mix of fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, tarragon, dill etc)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for cooking the pancetta  
  • Salt and pepper 
Method:
  • Add a splash of olive oil to a cold pan along with the pancetta, and place over a medium heat. Leave to gently begin rendering and frying, allow the pancetta to colour and become crispy; around 5-7 minutes.
  • Once crispy, remove the pancetta and drain on some kitchen paper, also reserving 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beans, leaves, onion, and herbs. Add the crispy pancetta and mix well. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the pancetta fat, olive oil and red wine vinegar and use to dress the salad. Season to your taste and arrange on a large platter.
  • Serve with focaccia or crusty bread.