You won’t be disappointed if you slice lardo into thin pieces and eat it raw or use it as an ingredient in a dish.
Lardo is a fatty Italian meat that is cured with salt and herbs. It is often served sliced and as an appetizer.
You can also have it as an ingredient in a soup. It’s similar to pancetta, but without the garlic.
It can be served with vegetables, pastry, and other types of meat because of its silky texture and delicious taste.
Unfortunately, this cured pork product is hard to find. If you get a chance to purchase it, you should know how to eat it.
In this article, I will show you how you can prepare, cook and eat lardo. The best lardo dishes will be covered by me.
Can You Eat Lardo As Is?
Lardo is a type of salumi, and it is an Italian term for salted meat. Pork products referred to as salumi include bacon, ham, sausages, and more.
Since it is cured, it lasts a long time and doesn’t require cooking to be eaten. You can eat it raw if you so choose.
Lardo is usually hard to find in the United States. If you want to look for lardo in an Italian butcher or grocery shop, then you can order it from an Italian wholesaler.
Italy has been making the best type of lardo for hundreds of years. During Roman times, the village of Colonnata was where the tradition of making lardo started.
Lardo is traditionally made out of boxes made of marble. They have a thin layer of garlic on top of them before they are placed in the marble.
The flavor is enhanced by the addition of spices such as basil, parsley, and more.
This method makes the taste more authentic, even though marble isn’t a requirement. It usually takes around half a year for this meat product to cure properly.
A fine, delicate, and silky texture is achieved by the curing process. If lardo is cut into thin slices, it will melt in your mouth, as it is the same texture as butter.
It is difficult to find an adequate substitute for it because it has a distinctive flavor. If prepared correctly, bacon fat can replace bacon and pancetta.
If you plan on eating it raw, you should slice the lardo into thin pieces. Don’t eat large chunks of lardo since it is slightly greasy.
It can be used in conjunction with other cured meat products, cheese, nuts, olives, and other vegetables.
You can make a snack out of it by putting it on toast or a pastry product. Italians are fond of including lardo in their food.
For people who enjoy eating food with both sweet and salty flavors, raw lardo can be used with strawberries, watermelon, blackberries, and plums.
If you have leftover lardo, put it in an air-tight bag or a sealed container and keep it in the fridge.
What does lardo taste like?
Lardo is delicious and tastes great over pasta, in risotto, or over polenta.
It’s also delicious when thinly sliced over fresh arugula and dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette or with a simple combination of garlic and lemon.
A perfect dish would be arugula salad with lardo or a bowl of arugula and lardo over polenta. Or, top your pizza with a thin layer of lardo.
Best Ways to Use Lardo in Cooking
If you want to prepare an Italian dish, there are many ways you can use lardo in cooking. A lot of the time, lardo is not used as the main ingredient.
Instead, it is added to the dish to complement other flavors, and it is best combined with different types of meat and vegetables.
Your dish will be the perfect finishing touch because of it.
Even though lardo can be added to recipes, it can also be cooked, boiled, fried, and even used as fat.
Its butter-like texture makes it ideal for melting and can be used instead of fat. It can be used for cooking potatoes and other vegetables.
You can use it with meat, such as steaks and other products. All you have to do is cut it into thin slices and place it next to the steak.
The meat will be much softer because of the melting of the lardo. It’s possible to use lardo instead of butter and spread it over toast and pastry.
Not to mention that it is a lot healthier than butter. It contains a lot of calories, so you should not consume it in large quantities.
Several ingredients are added to this pork product before it is cured, giving it a rich flavor. Rosemary is the most commonly seasoned with it.
Other spices used to enhance the flavor of lardo include thyme, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, and star anise.
There are sometimes sweet spices that can be added to lardo. The combination of salty and sweet spices makes lardo an ingredient that can go anywhere.
If the lardo is too salty, place it in a saucepan and fill it with cold water. Leave the lardo on the stove until the water comes to a boil.
It can be prepared for about 10 to 15 minutes. The water should be drained and the lardo left to dry.
Bake with It
Adding lardo to pastry dough is an interesting way to use the vegetable. You can make this happen by combining flour and lardo cubes.
The mixture should have a rougher texture after being mixed. The great thing about this is that it can be used for both sweet and salty pastry recipes.
It is an excellent ingredient for people who like to experiment with different flavors.
Best Dishes That Use Lardo
Lardo can be used to replace other pork-cured products such as bacon and pancetta. You can use lardo for a wide range of dishes, from baked potatoes to pizza.
If you want to use lardo as a compliment, or if you want to use it as an element that will make your dish stand out, it’s up to you.
Adding thin-sliced raw pieces in a recipe is the most common way to use lardo. If you want to make a charcuterie board with different tastes and textures, you should add lardo.
It’s one of the most popular ways to place lardo on toast. It blends well with tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and garlic. You can add lardo to ziti pasta if you want to stick to Italian dishes.
Neapolitan macaroni is also known as Ziti. lardo is added to garlic, onions, and tomatoes in a pan to cook them together.
Lardo pizza can be made by you. In Rome, this recipe is very popular. You just need to put largo on the dough, along with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and various other spices.
It’s possible to use lardo with steak, filets, and even turkey. Lardo makes a great addition to seafood like octopus, scallops, and clams.
Since lardo can be used with different types of fruit, some people like to use it in sweet recipes. It has a wonderful taste in honey.
Appetizers and side dishes are best served by Lardo. It is possible to roast with almonds and olives.
The Italians like to combine it with boiled chestnuts and honey. It is ideal for dinner rolls because it can be whipped like cream.
There are many ways in which the question of how to eat lardo can be solved. That is because there is no limit to how you can cook cured pork.
You can serve it raw, spread it on toast, or cook it with vegetables and other types of meat. Even if you choose a different recipe, lardo is sure to enhance it.