Recipes: Lardo

 

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Lardo is charcuterie’s answer to butter — a delicious flavorful topping for warm focaccia, crostini, or toasted baguette. Despite its bad reputation, pork fat is much lower in saturated fat than butter.  


 

ONION FOCACCIA WITH LA QUERCIA IOWA WHITE LARDO

 

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast dissolved in 1 & 1/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • Yellow onions
  • Pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced La Quercia Iowa White (lardo)

 

 

Directions:

 

  • Mix flour, yeast & water, oil and salt together well and knead until smooth and elastic. I start the dough in my Kitchen-Aid mixer and then finish the kneading on the counter top.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or a piece of waxed paper. Let rise until double in bulk – up to two hours.
  • Meanwhile, trim two onions and cut them in half vertically. Put cut surface on cutting board and slice thinly. Sweat the onions in one or two tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of salt until slightly soft. Do not brown! Mix the onions with 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half.
  • Thinly slice 1/2 pound La Quercia Iowa White. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • Punch down the bread dough and spread into a rectangle on the counter. Scatter the onions and olives on the dough and roll and mix them into the dough. Spread the dough evenly into a large pan (I used a 13 inch circular metal pan with 1 inch sides). Let the dough rise for 30 minutes and bake at 500 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  • Immediately upon removing the focaccia from the oven, distribute the sliced Iowa White neatly and evenly across the hot bread. Let it melt in for a few minutes, slice, and serve.

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SOFFRITTO OR MIREPOIX

 

This is a common foundation for savory sauces and soups in many cuisines.

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Onion (finely chopped)
  • Celery (finely chopped)
  • Carrot (finely chopped)
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • La Quercia Meat of your choice, diced or shredded: Pancetta, Bacon, Guanciale

 

Directions:

 

  • Sautée finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot slowly in olive oil and butter.
  • Cook slowly over low heat until the flavors meld and the onions turn very slightly golden brown.

 

Use as a base for sauces or soups.

 

Variations:

 

  • Add herbs: parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf. Choose herbs based on the final dish.
  • Replace the celery with finely chopped fresh fennel.
  • Include diced or shredded Pancetta, Bacon, Guanciale, or other La Quercia cured meat.

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