Stracciatella with Escarole, Crispy Bacon and Balsamic Shallots
This recipe has been adapted from “The Mozza Cookbook.”
If you’ve never had Stracciatella (from stracciato meaning “torn apart”) then this recipe is a must try for you. If you live in the city you can definitely find this beautiful, creamy cheese at Eataly. Anywhere else in the world just go to your closest Italian market and I’m almost positive that they will have it there.
If you’ve read most of my recipes you know I ALWAYS use nitrate free bacon, normally a 40% lean peppered brand from whole foods. This recipe is no different, it adds a deep peppery spice that the peppermill just can’t accomplish.
This is a perfect dish for an easy appetizer. Don’t scimp on the bread, make sure it’s a freshly made delicious bread. My go to bread is Whole Foods’ Organic Seeduction Bread, perfectly soft and moist on the inside with a seedy crust.
12 Slices of your favorite bread, 1/2” thick
garlic clove, peeled
6 slices nitrate free bacon
12-16oz stracciatella, drained
salt and pepper
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
about 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup champagne vinegar, or to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, or to taste
For balsamic shallots: In a large saute pan, add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring when necessary until brown around the edges and soft. Add water when moisture is needed, let the water cook off before adding more. Add balsamic and stir until all has been evaporated.
In a large bowl, combine the minced shallots, vinegar, garlic, salt and olive oil. Add escarole, toss well and adjust seasonings to taste.
Heat oven to 350 F. Brush one side of the sliced bread with olive oil and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the bread until golden brown about 10 minutes, depending on your oven of course. When bread is toasted rub with garlic clove.
Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium high heat cook the bacon, in batches if needed, until nice and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and continue cooking until all slices are crispy. When slightly cooled break in half so there is one 1/2 slice of bacon per slice of bread.
Place bread oiled side up on work surface. Mound about 1/2 cup of the escarole on top of each slice, leaving the edges of the bread visible. Lay a piece of bacon atop the escarole. Scoop about a tablespoon, maybe a little more, of the stracciatella and place atop the bacon. Drizzle with olive oil, a crack of pepper and a pinch of salt. Top with a teaspoon of caramelized shallots. Serve immediately.