Hello, Spring! Hello, Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette!
I know the spring season has officially being in swing for over a month now here in the Northern Hemisphere, but where I live, much of spring is what I’ve dubbed Winter Lite. And Winter Lite the last two weeks has meant snow swirling around outside my window every other day.
Blessedly, this snow has not been sticking, but still. It’s almost May – where’s that spring thaw at, Mother Nature???
Finally, warmer temps are on the horizon here in Metro-Detroit (we’re predicted to hit 60 degrees tomorrow!), and it’s time to break out the celebratory foods – foods like this Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette!
Eating this salad loaded with spring-centric foods – artichokes, asparagus, and Meyer lemon – makes my heart sing like the birds outside my window who’ve continued to warble their melodic tunes despite the wintry precipitation. Never mind that I’m using canned artichokes for this recipe – the spirit is still in them! Pancetta and pecorino add heartiness and richness, upping the deliciousness ante.
As I write this post, it’s a challenging time globally; the coronavirus is ravaging many of our communities. For those of you who’ve been affected by this virus in terrible ways, please know that I am thinking about you and sending love your way! Nothing I say can make things better, but I hope if you’re here reading this as a means of temporary distraction that you find that distraction.
Those of us who have been fortunate to have ourselves and our loved ones stay healthy and financially OK at this time know how immensely lucky we are. We know how immensely, immensely lucky we are – and still, we may find ourselves getting cabin fever, getting cranky about being stuck inside, having our nerves grated on by our kids and/or partners and/or pets, being repulsed by our once-beloved sweatpants (~Gasp!~ there IS too much of a good thing – even for sweatpants!) and dreaming of the day when simple pleasures we maybe took for granted – sitting at a coffee shop alone for an hour sipping a coffee! getting our hair cut! hugging! are again activities we can partake in, instead of dream about. Those of you who find yourselves in that place, right alongside me: Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is here for you!
The prominent ingredients of this salad are not likely ones you have hanging out in your fridge and pantry as staples – my house, at least, is not buying pancetta on the regs (it’s more of a splurge item in my book). But if you find you’re about to embark on the epic journey that is grocery shopping these days, Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is the kind of bright-spot recipe that can make you excited to shop – and cook! Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette is bringing the vibrancy of this fair season – and reminding us that there is always something to look forward to, even if current events don’t make it seem as if there is.
I hope whatever your situation is when you decide to make this Spring Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Pancetta, Pecorino, and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette – whether in quarantine times or not – that it brings vibrancy and flavor to your day.
Worth noting: if you’ve never cut hard cheese into shavings, you can easily do so by using a vegetable peeler (such a versatile tool, isn’t it?). Stay well, my friends – it’s on to the recipe!
Asparagus, artichokes, and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette bring brightness to this salad, while pancetta and pecorino up the luxe-flavor factor.
Add pancetta to a sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about five minutes. Remove from pan and let rest on a plate lined with paper towels.
Next, add a tablespoon of oil and asparagus to a pan over medium-high heat and sauté until softened and browned in places, about seven or eight minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
To a mason jar or other similar such vessel with a lid, add the dressing ingredients: the olive oil, Meyer lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, coriander, garlic powder, and pepper. Cover with the lid and shake until dressing ingredients are well incorporated.
Add to a large mixing bowl the mixed greens, pancetta, artichoke hearts, and pecorino. Toss with the dressing, then serve individual portions of salad topped with asparagus spears. Or, serve salad with pancetta, artichoke hearts, pecorino, and asparagus laid on top of a bed of greens and allow diners to toss individual portions with the dressing. Either way, you now get to sit back and enjoy the vibrant tastiness you've created!
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