Fennel Salad

My girlfriend made this salad over a year ago and brought it for a girls night in potluck dinner and it was an immediate hit with us all! It’s a very flavorful salad with the licorice taste of the fennel, the saltiness of the pancetta and the somewhat sweet red wine vinaigrette dressing. This salad is served warm and all of the flavors meld together beautifully. Fennel is in season right now so it’s the perfect time to make this salad. I guarantee this will be a huge hit at your next girls night in!

Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1 bulb fennel, halved and cut into ½ inch wedges
  • 5 slices pancetta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 ounces (about 6-7 cups) mixed salad greens
  • Red Wine Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together fennel, pancetta, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the ingredients on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until pancetta is crisp and fennel is caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, place the salad greens, crumbled pancetta, and caramelized fennel. Toss the salad with the Red Wine Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
  4. To make the vinaigrette, mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper in a blender. With the machine running gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.