When in Rome

Grilled Broccoli, Romanesca and crispy Pancetta with Sesame Honey Dressing

You know when you want to start a blog post with "hey", its been a while.
And its not like there is nothing you can write about.
Its where to start really that's the problem.

We have a new puppy.
It arrived unexpectedly.
Kinda like a bergie was selling one by our gate.
And my housemate bought it.
Her name is "Shiloh" and at that time she was more worm and fleas than puppy.

Now she is determined to turn my house into a pee palace.
And she has pretty much succeeded.

Tosca has, in the last month, had an epileptic fit, eaten a fish hoek and frequented the vet at least 4 times.

I (to regain my sanity) have been spending a lot of times at the food markets, my favourite one being the Earth Fair in Tokai, by the builders warehouse.
I picked up some gloriously fresh vegetables at the greengrocer's there, like the broccoli and the Romanesca broccoli.

Andrew, my next door neighbour at the markets, sells the most delicious MSG, preservative, and wheat/husk free sausages and meats.
This is where I picked up some lovely pancetta (also some Chouri├žo).

This salad is super easy to make, and the dressing can be made and used for other dishes.
Grilled veg and fruit make a great addition to salad, see the biltong and grilled pineapple salad.
And the salty, crispiness in the Pancetta balances well with the firm florets of broccoli.

Romanesca Broccolli is slightly firmer than normal broccolli but is more tender, so take care not to overcook. It has a light pea green colour and is also known as "Roman cauliflower".

Grilled Broccoli, Romanesca and crispy Pancetta with sesame honey dressing

250g Broccoli
200g Romanesco Broccoli
1/2 small red onion, sliced
30g pancetta, thinly sliced

160ml water
2 T honey
40ml soya sauce
1T sesame oil

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil.
Break the Broccollis into florets, cutting the larger ones in half.
Boil both broccolis until starting to go tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain and set aside.

Heat a large grill pan on the stove.
When smoking hot add 1T olive oil to the pan.
Grill the florets on both sides until well seared.
Place on a serving dish.
While the griddle pan is still hot, add the pancetta and cook until crispy.
Toss over the florets.
Remove the griddle pan from the stove and pour in 80ml of the water,
This will evaporate quickly.
Add the remaining water, the honey, soya sauce and sesame oil.
Bring to the boil for a minute and pour into a small container to cool (the sauce will thicken on cooling, and coat the salad better.

Thinly slice the red onion and toss the florets with the crispy pancetta and the cooled sesame soya sauce and serve.