Warm Mediterranean salad with braised fennel and pancetta croutons
PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes
COOKING TIME 15 minutes
what you need
100g (3½oz) watercress
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
12 black olives, pitted and halved
4 tbsps olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bulbs fennel, finely sliced
12 juniper berries, crushed
125g (4½oz) pancetta, cubed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
1Tear the radicchio and watercress leaves into a large salad bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes and olives, then mix the whole lot together with two tablespoons of the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
2Brush or drizzle the remaining olive oil over the fennel slices.
3Put a non-stick frying pan and a griddle pan on a high heat. When the frying pan is hot, add the juniper berries and, a minute or so later, throw in the pancetta cubes and toss them around until golden. There is no need to add any extra oil as the fat from the pork is more than enough. Transfer to kitchen paper to absorb the excess fat. Discard the juniper berries and leave the pancetta croutons to rest.
4 When the griddle is very hot, add the fennel slices. For a warm but crunchy bite, cook them on each side for about three minutes.
5 To serve the warm Mediterranean salad, make a bed of salad on each plate. Then, lay the fennel on top and sprinkle the pancetta croutons and fennel seeds over the top.