Monday, March 18, 2013

Insalata di Cavoletti

Ethel and Bentley
This Sunday was a little bit of a nightmare in my neighborhood.  We are right at the beginning of the Saint Patrick's Day parade, which means an influx of people...very intoxicated people.  There were the few families going to the parade but, in our neighborhood with people our pouring out of JJ Foleys to head to the parade, the families are a minority.  I have gone to the parade before, when I was 20, but these days my Sundays are best enjoyed by waking up late, having some tea and then going out to brunch.  This past Sunday was no exception.  On a side note, we got to babysit our friends adorable golden retriever.  Isn't he cute?!
"Excuse me.. I believe I
ordered the large
Campbells CUP-o-chino"
For brunch we wanted to try a new spot down the street, Cinquecento (Italian for 500).  I started with a frothy cappuccino and ordered the insalata di cavoletti having no idea what it actually meant.  Language barrier aside, it was freaking delicious.  It was shredded brussel sprout leaves, roasted but still crunchy, with fried pancetta and ricotta salata dressed in a tangy mustard dressing.  While I was eating it, I kept thinking I need to make this at home.  So I did!  Here is my adaptation of the salad.  Please try it for a starter, quick lunch, or side dish at dinner.  You won't be disappointed.

Mustard Vinaigrette 
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil 

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except oil.  Whisk until mixed.  Drizzle in oil while whisking.  
Ricotta Salata

Insalata di Cavoletti
1/2 pound of fried pancetta, cut into lardons
8 brussel sprouts, shredded
2 tablespoons of ricotta salata
olive oil
mustard vinaigrette to taste

In a heavy bottom pan drizzle some oil in bottom, over medium high heat heat oil until smoking.  Add shredded brussel sprouts and fry until crispy but still have a bite.  Remove from pan and cool.  

Combine brussel sprouts, pancetta, and mustard vinaigrette.  Toss until coated.  Top with ricotta salata 


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