Wild Greens with Lardo

Here’s the first recipe from this year’s No Football Sunday Dinner.  It’s hard to call a salad a recipe, but I have to tell you how good this is.  The original recipe in La Cucina calls for a wild green not widely available in the US.  They do offer arugula as a substitute.  When I went to the store the arugula looked horrible.  I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it.  I opted for a big clamshell container of Baby Spring Mix instead.  It’s a nice combination of lettuces, spinach, radicchio and arugula so you get a little sweet and a little bitter.  You want at least some bitter in this.  It’s a nice balance for the salt.

That brings us to the lardo.  This is also something you can’t exactly find here.  At least not in a regular grocery store.  It is, at least in part, the rump fat of a pig cured and seasoned.  I found something that said that fat back is a reasonable substitute.  I think that’s probably true, but I’m guessing it lacks a depth of flavor.  That said, I used fat back, rendered, and it was awesome.  Essentially you’re using the melted fat instead of oil as your salad dressing.  A few tablespoons of vinegar and some fresh pepper.  Done.  No other vegetables.  No other spice.  No need.  This is seriously good stuff.  Not that I recommend that you start using pork fat as the base for all of your salad dressings.  Certainly not.  But once in a while it’s worth it!

One note.  Eat the whole salad the first day.  The leftovers are disgusting.

Good? Much better than I dared imagine.
Easy? Absolutely.
Good for company? Mine certainly enjoyed it.
Special shopping? I have no idea if grocery stores outside the South routinely carry fatback, but around here it’s easy to find.

Wild Greens with Lardo

Ingredients

1 clamshell or bag of bitter salad greens
6 ounces fat back, rendered (melted into liquid)
2-3 T white vinegar
Fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Toss greens with fat back until the leaves begin to wilt. Toss with vinegar and pepper.

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