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Papaya, Orange and Watercress Salad with Pancetta

slideshow Terrific Salads

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (about 10 slices)
  • 2 large navel oranges
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • One 2-pound papaya—peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 6 large scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • One 6-ounce bunch watercress, tough stems discarded


  1. In a large skillet, cook the pancetta over moderate heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels and let cool, then coarsely crumble.
  2. Peel the oranges with a sharp knife, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a strainer set over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the membranes to extract the juice: You should have 3 tablespoons. Pour the juice into a jar. Add the olive and sesame oils, season with salt and pepper and shake. Halve the orange sections.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the papaya, scallions, watercress and oranges with the dressing. Season the salad with salt and pepper and transfer to plates. Garnish with the crumbled pancetta and serve.
Published October 2004

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