When chef Matt Molina saw the fireplace at Nancy Silverton's house in Umbria, he couldn't resist the chance to make this refreshing salad, one of Silverton's signature dishes. He briefly tossed dandelion greens on a Tuscan grill to soften their bitter edge, then paired them with pancetta-wrapped figs cooked right in the fire.
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24 very thin slices of pancetta (about 1/2 pound)
12 fresh Mission figs, halved lengthwise
6 ounces dandelion greens, tough stems discarded
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
One 1-ounce piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
How to Make It
Light a grill. Wrap a slice of pancetta around each fig half and secure with a toothpick. Grill the figs over medium heat, turning, until the pancetta is crisp all over, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface and discard the toothpicks.
In a bowl, drizzle the dandelion greens with olive oil until lightly coated and toss. Season the greens with salt and pepper. Arrange the greens across the grill grates and cook, turning gently, until lightly charred and wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer the greens to plates and top with the fig halves. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the salads. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve right away.
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