After all the Thanksgiving feasting and leftovers, the one thing I’ve been craving lately is salad. A version of this Radicchio Salad has been been on rotation in some form or another this past week, and I’m finding that the bitter greens, or in this case, bitter “magentas” seem to counterbalance all the indulging.
I feel my liver sending up prayers of gratitude.
What is radicchio?
In essence, radicchio is a bitter leafy veggie or lettuce in the chicory family, closely related to endive and escarole, and in peak growing season mid-winter through spring. There are four common varieties; all of which are 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 12 inches in diameter.
Start layering the salad. Add thinly sliced red onion, crunchy Asian pear, your choice of walnuts toasted walnuts or pecans, salty hard cheese like pecorino or Manchego and for color and crunch and brightness, pomegranate seeds when in season. Add some fresh basil and red onion.
Toss with the simple vinaigrette or refrigerate until you are ready to serve, and then toss.
Adjust the salt 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.
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
- one 4-inch round radicchio ( size of a softball)
- 1 Asian pear, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, very thinly sliced (soaked in water if sensitive, see notes)
- 1/4–1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
- 1/4 cup thinly shaved pecorino cheese (or parmesan or manchego)
- 8–10 basil leaves, hand torn, or sub 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley.
- 1/4–1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together in a small jar or bowl.
Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss with 2/3rds of the dressing (start conservative), then add more as needed – you may not need to add all- depending on the size of your raddicio.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
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.
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