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Broccoli chopped salad

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Broccoli chopped salad
1

To prepare the broccoli, remove the florets and break any large ones into bite-size pieces. With a sharp paring knife, cut off the dried-out base of the stem, then peel the tough skin, leaving the stalk in a rough squared-off log. Cut the stalk into quarter-inch dice.

2

Bring the water in the bottom of a steamer to a boil. Place the diced stems in the steamer basket and cook, covered, about 1 minute. Add the florets, cover again, and cook until the broccoli is bright green but still crunchy, another minute or two. Set aside.

3

Place the pancetta slices in the bottom of a cold skillet and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until well-browned on one side, about 10 minutes, then turn and cook until the other side is browned, another 4 or 5 minutes. Do not rush the cooking or the pancetta will not be crisp. When the pancetta is crisp and well-browned, remove to a paper towel to drain. Set the drippings aside to cool.

4

Trim the bottoms of the mushroom stems; cut the mushrooms in quarters lengthwise.

5

Place the broccoli in a large bowl and add the mushrooms, green onions, blue cheese and walnuts. Crumble the pancetta over top.

6

Pour the pancetta drippings into a half-cup measure. Add enough oil to make one-half cup and then pour the mixture into a small bowl. Add the vinegar and the salt and whisk to emulsify.

7

Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine well. Taste and correct for seasoning with salt and vinegar and finish with a good grinding of black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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