I love salads, but I am actually a little intimidated to make them at home. Restaurant salads include a variety of ingredients that 1) I normally wouldn’t pair together, or, 2) don’t keep on hand. If you told me to go make a salad right now all I could throw together is lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots.
Which is why whenever I make a salad at home I default to a classic: the caprese. A traditional caprese salad is usually just fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, and basil. For a little jazzed up version I added fresh strawberries and crispy pancetta.
And I threw in the meat so that my husband would think of this as a meal and not just a side. I browned a small package of pancetta that I picked up in the deli section of my grocery store. If you want to make this recipe and can’t find pancetta, bacon would be the prefect substitute.
For the dressing I stuck with a simple homemade balsamic. There is so much flavor from the strawberries, tomatoes, and basil, you don’t really need anything too extravagant. To make the balsamic dressing I mixed 2 parts oil with 1 part balsamic, then added salt, pepper, and minced garlic to taste.
- 2 cups bread, cubed
- 1 tsp oil
- 4 cups chopped lettuce
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 4-6 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 ounces mozzarella, cubed
- 4 ounces pancetta, browned and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic dressing
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- pinch of salt & pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Toss chopped bread cubes in oil and and toast in oven for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, tomato, mozzerella, pancetta, strawberries, and bread.
- In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper until emulsified.
- Drizzle dressing over top and toss again to evenly coat.