Warm Salad of Winter Fruits, Endives and Pancetta
You can embellish this hearty salad with other winter fruits, such as grapefruit (which we used) or persimmon.
- 1 pomegranate, halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 quinces – peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each
- 4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 large endives, cored and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 2 firm ripe Bartlett Pears – peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
- 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
- Using a large citrus reamer, squeeze ½ cup of juice from the pomegranate halves. Transfer the pomegranate juice to a small saucepan and boil until the juice is reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pomegranate syrup to a small glass or stainless steel bowl; whisk in the red wine vinegar and then the canola oil. Season the pomegranate dressing with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water and the sugar and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the quinces and set a small lid or heatproof saucer directly on top to keep the wedges submerged. Cook the quinces over moderate heat until they are just tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the quinces to a plate to cool. Cut the quinces into thin wedges.
- In a large skillet, cook the pancetta pieces over moderate heat until crisp. Drain the pancetta and reserve 1 tablespoon of the fat in the skillet. Return the skillet to high heat, add the endives and cook, tossing, until just warmed through. Add the cooked quinces, the pears and the pancetta, season the salad with salt and pepper and toss gently. Transfer the salad to a platter. Drizzle the salad with some of the dressing, sprinkle with the tarragon and serve. Pass the remaining dressing separately.