and Grape Salad with Pancetta-Wrapped Crostini
Chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse—Berkeley,
Adapted by StarChefs
Of course, this tastes best made with an authentic, costly, artisanally
made balsamic vinegar (the kind labeled “aceto balsamico tradizionale
de Modena and bearing the seal of the producers’ consortium),
but it can be approximated by using instead a reduction of good
commercial balsamic vinegar.
Yield: 6 Servings
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar, aged 12 years or more, or ½
cup good-quality commercial balsamic vinegar plus 1 teaspoon brown
- 6 thick slices country-style bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 thin slices pancetta (about ¼ pound)
- 9 ripe figs
- 1 cup grapes, stemmed
- 6 small handfuls arugula
- Salt and pepper to taste
If substituting commercial balsamic vinegar, put it in a small
saucepan with the brown sugar and reduce by a little more than half,
until the vinegar is thick and syrupy.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Trim the crusts off the bread and cut the slices in half lengthwise,
making 12 long, thin crostini. Brush them lightly with olive oil
and wrap with slices of pancetta—spirally, like candy canes.
Place them on a baking sheet and bake until the pancetta begins
to crisp, about 10 minutes.
While the pancetta-wrapped crostini are baking, quarter the figs,
cut the grapes in half, and thoroughly was and dry the arugula.
When the crostini are almost ready, gently toss the arugula and
fruit with a pinch of salt, a few grinds of the peppermill, and
about 3 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange the salad on plates and drizzle
with the balsamic vinegar. Garnish with the crostini.