Smoked Pork Belly and Watermelon Salad

Published 09/05 2013 06:58AM

Updated 09/05 2013 08:16AM

Smoked Pork Belly and Watermelon Salad with Caramelized Onion Vinaigrette
  Chef Branden Bentley - Victory Trade School

Smoked pork belly
*Large, diced smoked pork belly, fried until fat is rendered
Seedless watermelon
*large, diced seedless watermelon
Block feta cheese
*large diced feta cheese
Spring salad mix

Caramelized onion vinaigrette:
*1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
*1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 10 oz), thinly sliced
*Kosher salt
*2 tsp. granulated sugar
*1/4 cup dry sherry
*2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
*1 tsp. Dijon mustard
*1 tsp. dried thyme
*freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and 3/4 tsp. salt, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until onions start to soften - 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar and cook, stirring, until completely softened and golden brown - 10-13 minutes or more.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the sherry, and carefully return the pan to the stove.
Raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring until the sherry has almost evaporated, about 1 minute.  Transfer the onions to a cutting board.  Let it cook for a couple of minutes, then chop.

In a blender. puree about 1/4 cup of the onions with the vinegar and mustard.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.  The mixture will thicken.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Stir in remaining onions, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Toss spring mix with just enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce and arrange on a plate.  Add remaining ingredients and spoon some of the remaining caramelized onions over the top.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.