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Salads

Red mustard greens, pancetta and golden beet salad

Red mustard greens, pancetta and golden beet salad
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

California cuisine, we have been told time and again, is based on the close relationship between chef and farmer. So have you ever wondered why all of these restaurants seem to be in San Francisco or Los Angeles, hundreds of ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 4
  • 3 medium golden beets or 6 baby beets
  • 1 cipollini onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Chardonnay vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 slices pancetta (about 4 ounces)
  • 3 cups young mustard greens
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the beets and place them in a small casserole with a cover. Add about one-half inch water and roast until the skin easily slips from the beets. (Baby beets will take approximately 20 minutes; larger beets may take an hour or longer.) Remove the beets from the oven and, while still warm, remove the skin. Cut into one-fourth-inch-thick slices. Set aside. (This step can be done the day before -- the beets will actually grow sweeter if left in the refrigerator overnight.)

Step 2Place the onion in a nonreactive bowl. Sprinkle with one-fourth teaspoon salt and the vinegar and stir to coat. Let rest 1 hour.

Step 3Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the pancetta and cook over low heat until it starts to turn crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cool slightly. Cut into one-half-inch pieces and set aside.

Step 4Combine the beets, onions and greens in a salad bowl. Toss with the remaining one-fourth teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to lightly coat. Taste; adjust seasoning. Divide among 4 plates and garnish with the pancetta.

Note: From Echo. Substitute a good-quality white wine vinegar for the Chardonnay vinegar, if unavailable. Look for young red mustard greens at farmers markets. Green mustard greens can be substituted. Tear greens into bite-size pieces to make 3 cups.

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