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Here’s a delicious Radicchio Salad with pears, walnuts, and shaved pecorino cheese in a tasty Champagne vinaigrette dressing. Make it ahead and toss before serving.
This vibrant, colorful Radicchio Salad is easy, healthy, and very adaptable. A deliciously festive salad to bring to gatherings or the holiday table, or perfect for a light dinner.
The one thing I’ve been craving lately are bitter greens and a version of this Radicchio Salad has been been on rotation in some form or another this past month.I’m finding that the bitter greens, or in this case, bitter “magentas,” seem to counterbalance all the holiday indulging.
I feel my liver sending up prayers of gratitude.
Ingredients in Radicchio Salad
Radicchio– Radicchio is a bitter leafy veggie or lettuce in the chicory family, usually burgundy, magenta or pink in color, closely related to endive and escarole, in peak growing season mid-winter through spring.
Pear, Apple or Asian Pear – use what you have on hand; the fruit adds a lovely sweetness to the salad.
Nuts: We’ve used toasted walnuts here, but toasted hazelnuts or pecans would also work well.
Cheese: Pecorino is optional here but adds delicious umami and earthiness to the salad.
The dressing: what makes this dressing unique is Champagne Vinegar ( see notes for substitutes) and a hint of truffle oil.
Optional Additions: use pomegranate seeds if in season and fresh herbs to elevate.
Varieties of radicchio
Four common varieties of Radicchio are each named after a region in Italy.
- Radicchio di Chioggia (a round, burgundy-hued version, like a small cabbage, most common here in the states)
- Radicchio Rosso di Treviso (an oblong shape with rose-colored hues, white veins and stems)
- Radicchio di Castelfranco (red speckles on green or yellow leaves).
- Radicchio di Tardivo (oblong leaves with dark red/burgundy hues).
Here we’re using Chioggia Radicchio, one small head, about 4 inches in diameter.
Surprisingly one small head, when hand-torn, can feed up to 4 people! This salad bowl, just to give you some reference is large- 12 inches in diameter.
How to Make a radicchio Salad
- Make the vinaigrette.
- Layer the salad. Hand tear radicchio and place it in a big shallow bowl.
- Add thinly sliced red onion, sliced fruit , nuts, optional pecorino and for color and crunch, pomegranate seeds when in season.
- Add some fresh herbs if you like- basil or Italian parsley is nice.
- Toss with the simple vinaigrette (or refrigerate until you are ready to serve, and then toss.)
- Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
The nice thing about Radicchio is it holds up well and doesn’t wilt easily. I even find even leftovers don’t get overly soggy.
Hope you love this one as much as I do!
More salads you may enjoy:
- Persimmon Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pomegranate
- Toasted Farro with Pear, Hazelnuts and Arugula
- Palouse Caviar (Lentil Pomegranate Salad)
- Fig and Arugula Salad, w/ Goat Cheese & Pecans
- Citrus Salad with Dates & Pistachios
- Beet Salad with Feta & Pistachios
Hope you enjoy the salad. -xo
- Prep Time: 20
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: salad, vegetarian
- Method: tossed
- Cuisine: american
- Diet: Vegetarian
A simple, festive Radicchio Salad with fruit, nuts, and optional cheese in a delicious champagne vinaigrette.
- one 4-inch round radicchio ( size of a softball)
- 1 large pear, thinly sliced (or sub Asian pear or apple)
- 1/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced (soaked in water if sensitive, see notes)
- 1/4–1/2 cups toasted and chopped walnuts , hazelnuts or pecans
- Optional: 1/4 cup thinly shaved pecorino cheese (or manchego)
- Optional: 1/4 cup fresh herbs – flat-leaf parsley, basil leaves, chopped or hand torn.
- Optional: 1/4- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional, but tasty!)
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or sub sherry vinegar, or red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup, agave or sugar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon shallot ( finely minced) or sub 1 garlic clove, grated.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a small jar or bowl. (If you happen to use less honey– you’ll need to reduce the vinegar too.)
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl- radicchio, , and toss with 2/3 rds of the dressing (start conservative), then add more as needed – you may not need to add all- depending on the size of your radicchio.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If you leave out the pecorino, you will most likely need more salt.
Garnish with a few more pomegranate seeds, pecorino and nuts.
Salad is best served, within 15 minutes of being tossed, but leftovers keep surprisingly well. I find them totally fine (just a bit wilted) the next day as radicchio holds up pretty well.
If sensitive to onions, soak in cold salted water to remove bitterness for a minimum of 15 mins, or overnight.
If making ahead, layer the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and Refigerate. Toss with dressing right before serving.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 209
- Sugar: 5.7 g
- Sodium: 257.7 mg
- Fat: 17.5 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.9 g
- Fiber: 2.7 g
- Protein: 4.5 g
- Cholesterol: 7.4 mg
Keywords: Radicchio Salad, Radicchio recipes, Radicchio Salad recipe,
Wow! This was really fabulous – so balanced with the bitter, sweet, fat, and salt. And so colorful! We brought this to a Friendsgiving, and it was a hit. Followed the recipe to a tee, and, as usual, it was addictingly good (I am eating salad with the leftover dressing right now!). Thank you for these beautiful recipes we can rely upon and enjoy with others!
Blessings to you!
Awe thanks so much Morgan! Glad you enjoyed this!
After watching the pomegranate video, we made this salad substituting regular pear for the Asian pear ( because that’s what we had on hand) and it was delicious- refreshing, balanced, bitter, but not too much. Just right. The pomegranate seeds made it pop.