Serious Eats: Recipes

Tony Mantuano's Pea, Bacon and Pecorino

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Adapted from Tony Mantuano's Wine Bar Food

Why I Picked This Recipe: I first came across this recipe during the middle of winter, when making this salad would have been impossible. Instead, I waited until I found fresh peas at the farmers' market to give this one a go. I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the fresh vegetable.

What Worked: I love how this salad balances flavors and textures. The peas and snap peas are crunchy and sweet, while bacon is left a little chewy. The shoots are delicate and tender, while the croutons are crisp and oily. This all means that each bite tastes different, as you pick up different elements.

What Didn't: Just about every dish in Wine Bar Food is considered a small plate, so this probably needs another element if you're going to stretch it into a full meal. Honestly, I just ate two servings and was cool with it, but I can see other people wanting a salmon fillet or something like that.

Suggested Tweaks: The recipe also calls for pea sprouts, an ingredient that I couldn't seem to track down. In the recipe write-up, Mantuano notes that you can just use more pea shoots if you can't find the sprouts.

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