Chopped salad

Best rabbit food ever: Using unexpected combinations, we take a fresh look at chopped salads. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons mascarpone or heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt, optional


3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch strips

8 to 10 loosely packed cups torn assorted hearty lettuces, such as red-tipped romaine, escarole, frisee or butter lettuce

4 ounces fontina or provolone cheese, shredded

4 ounces thinly sliced spicy capocollo (or peppered salami), cut into 1/4-inch strips

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 small each roasted red and yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup cooked shelled edamame or rinsed canned chickpeas

¼ cup sliced or halved pitted olives, such as Castelvetrano, manzanillo or Kalamata

1. For dressing, put anchovies, garlic and vinegar into blender or small food processor. Process until smooth. Add oil and mascarpone. Blend smooth. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in basil, pepper and salt to taste. Shake well. (Dressing can be refrigerated up to several days; let come to room temperature before using.)

2. Cook the pancetta, stirring, in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Cool.

3. If desired for presentation, arrange the lettuces over a deep platter or in wide shallow bowl. Arrange the cheese, capocollo, prosciutto, roasted peppers, edamame and olives in rows over the lettuces.

4.To serve, transfer the contents of the platter to a very large bowl. Add just enough of the dressing while tossing to coat lightly. Serve sprinkled with the crispy pancetta.

Nutrition information:
Per serving (for 6 servings): 413 calories, 28 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 18 g protein, 606 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.

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