Gather The Goods
1 Loaf Ciabotta Bread, cubed into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
5 apricots, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
1/4 pound pork belly, small dice
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup basil, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced into a paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 medium sized Buratta, quartered
baby basil leaves for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl toss together the bread, garlic and onion powder, salt, and olive oil. Make sure you taste the bread before baking to make sure it has the perfect flavor! Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown.
In a small sauce pan reduce the white wine vinegar by half. This will help concentrate the flavor which results in a sweeter dressing!
Turn a saute pan or cast iron skillet to medium high heat and start to melt butter. Once it starts to sizzle add the apricots face down and sear until caramelized and soft. Transfer the apricots to a food processor and puree along with the maple syrup. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the sweet and tangy flavors. Whisk the apricot into the white wine vinegar and set aside.
In the same pan as the apricots, render the pork belly over low heat until golden and crispy. With a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the fat and set aside, reserving the bacon fat for the dressing.
Mix the basil, garlic, and paprika together in a bowl and add the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Toss the tomatoes into the mixture and set aside.
Toss the bread cubes into the apricot vinaigrette. Pour the pork fat over top and taste for seasonings adding more or less of each however desired.
Assemble the salad with the bread, tomatoes, buratta, and pork belly. There is no method to this madness, just make it beautiful and presentable!
Season the buratta with a pinch of kosher or maldon salt and drizzle with pork fat. Serve happily with a few basil leaves for garnish!
***The “croutons” or bread cubes should not be too crunchy, but if you over bake them let them soak in the dressing a little bit longer before serving!