This salad is just delicious this time of the year and freshly blanched asparagus with celery pesto and Italian bacon…what's not to love! This is also a great way to use celery, something I always have in our fridge. Burrata is now found all over the place, we like the Di Stefano brand, buon appetito!
1-4 oz piece of burrata cheese
1 cup celery leaves, washed
½ cup basil leaves
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 ½ tbsp Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp E.V. Olive Oil
3 medium sized asparagus spears, cut in 2" pieces
Blanch in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes, then shock in ice water
2 thick slices of Italian pancetta, diced (you can substitute bacon if you'd like)
Sea salt to finish (or Coarse Kosher salt would work as well)
Celery leaves to garnish
In a small sauté pan, under medium-low heat, add the thick cut pancetta with 2 tbsp of water and cook until crispy.
Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle (or small food processor), add the celery leaves and basil leaves with a small pinch of salt. Mash/pulse the leaves together until a paste forms, then add the pine nuts, Parmigiano, lemon juice and olive oil, mash/pulse to combine and taste for seasoning.
To plate, cut the burrata in half and place on a long plate. With the side of your knife, gently push the burrata, cut side down, so you have a nice surface to work with. Season the burrata with sea salt and pepper, place the celery pesto on top, then layer the warm pancetta and asparagus. Finish with a nice salad of celery leaves and good drizzle of E.V. olive oil, you'll be in business!
Yield: One nice family style plate
Ease of Preparation: Easy
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