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Arugula, Cherry, & Pancetta Salad

My posting has been lacking this summer; but I recently realized that I completely neglected to post any recipes for summer salads. Not sure why; we’ve been enjoying tons of different potato salads; green salads, coleslaws, and pasta salads (gluten free of course) over the past few months. Maybe it’s because we’ve been doing just that: enjoying them…so much so, that I fail to take photos, or jot down what we put in the dressing. Oh well – we’ll store them in the memory banks for next year.

But I still wanted to sneak this one in – even if cherry season is over. Go ahead and grab a few handfuls of any cherries that don’t look sad and prunish – it’ll be our little secret that we just missed the peak, sweet, plump cherries of June and July. I debated saving this recipe to share next year, but figured we don’t always have to be constrained by “in season” eating. If you can still find sweet cherries in store, why not eat them? Someone has to, or they’ll go to waste. And besides, when combined with the peppery arugula and salty pancetta, you’re hardly likely to notice the difference. Promise.

Arugula, Cherry, & Pancetta Salad

150g diced pancetta
6 large handfuls of arugula
1 1/2 cups cherries
2 Tbsp mint, chopped
1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
1 tsp grainy mustard
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Crisp up the pancetta in a pan over medium-high heat for approximately 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, pit and half the cherries – I found the easiest way to do this (without a cherry pitter) was to slice both halves off around the pit; you can also slice off more of the cherry if you’re so inclined. Place the arugula, cherries, mint and tarragon in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Toss the dressing with the arugula mixture and top with the crisp pancetta.

Serves 6.

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