Brussels sprouts are oft-maligned because they are so often served over cooked. This salad has a base of a raw Brussels sprouts slaw topped with pancetta (Italian bacon) and fresh mozzarella cheese. You'll be surprised by the lovely mild taste of the slaw.
1About 2 hours before you plan to serve, make the brussels sprouts slaw. Cut off and discard the stem ends and any blemished outer leaves of the sprouts. Wash. Finely slice or shred using the slicing blade of a food processor.
2Make a dressing of the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and sugar. Pour half the dressing over the shredded sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Cover the slaw and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Save the remaining dressing for later.
3About 1/2 hour before serving, cut the pancetta into 1/4 inch dice and saute on medium to render much of its fat.
4While the pancetta is cooking, julienne the basil leaves. Take the sprouts slaw out of the refrigerator and stir in the basil.
5Slice the fresh mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices. Beat the egg and water together in a shallow bowl. Season the panko crumbs with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
6Remove the pancetta from the pan, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Allow the pancetta to drain on paper towels.
7Dip the cheese slices in the egg, then coat with the bread crumbs, and fry in the pancetta fat, about 1 minute on a side, turning the heat up to medium high.
8Assemble the salad. Make a mound of the slaw in the middle of the plate. Surround with the spinach leaves (cut in pieces if the leaves are big). Scatter the pancetta on top. Then add the cheese slices.
9Pour the remaining lemon-vinegar dressing in the hot pan to deglaze and allow to boil briefly. Pour this over the salads. Serve.