Warm Mushroom, Leek, and Fennel Salad with Pancetta and Meyer Lemon

It was Friday night and I had a bunch of miscellaneous stuff in my fridge. It’s amazing the creations that can come out of these nights! I knew I wanted to use the leftover baby bella mushrooms I had, so I tossed those in a pan with some leeks until they started to caramelize. I roasted some fennel that mellowed out the fennel’s sharp anise taste and made it sweeter and more buttery. Tossed all together with meyer lemon, shavings of parmigiano, and salty pancetta crisps, Friday night’s dinner went from an “uh oh” to a surprising dish for the books!

 

 

 

Makes: salad for 2 people

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

The Ingredients

2 large fennel bulbs, stalks removed and bulbs cut into chunks (keeping a few sprigs of fronds for garnish)

1 medium package sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 leek, cut into thin half-moons (use the light green part only)

4 thin slices of pancetta

1 ½ meyer lemons, juiced

Parmigiano-reggiano shavings

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

 

 

The Steps

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add pancetta and let cook, flipping every 2 minutes, until just crispy (about 5 minutes in total).

Preheat oven to 375, and roast fennel drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt for about 45 minutes or until fennel is golden around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium pan, add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Over medium heat, add leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes until mushrooms soften. Add fennel and stir until combined. Turn heat off. In a small bowl, whisk together meyer lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil (more to taste). Drizzle dressing and toss together. Plate, and top with parm shavings, pancetta, crisps, fennel fronds, and black pepper.

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add pancetta and let cook, flipping every 2 minutes, until just crispy (about 5 minutes in total).

Preheat oven to 375, and roast fennel drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt for about 45 minutes or until fennel is golden around the edges. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium pan, add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Over medium heat, add leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes until mushrooms soften. Add fennel and stir until combined.

Turn heat off. In a small bowl, whisk together meyer lemon juice and ¼ cup olive oil (more to taste). Drizzle dressing and toss together.

 

Plate, and top with parm shavings, pancetta, crisps, fennel fronds, and black pepper.

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