I fell for radicchio salads back in 2007, shortly after I moved to Portland. This is my favorite salad, and I’ve even been known to whip it up for a late night snack after work. Although I don’t make it exactly the same way every time, I follow a pretty close routine. It’s very basic, but big on flavor and texture.
The acid and cheese are both important to complement the bitterness of the radicchio, but feel free to experment with cheese and vinegar types. (I do also make a cashew based dressing that’s great for radicchio, but that’s a recipe for another day. )You can also use all vinegar in place of the lemon, but I would do a bit less. Sometimes I don’t put any bread in this salad, and other times it’s just breadcrumbs. I love it with or without, but having croutons to soak up the dressing is just so perfect.
I eat this salad frequently on its own. It’s also great alongside grilled meat, roasted chicken, or with olives. It makes a simple meal feel special with its huge flavors and pretty color.
Radicchio Salad (Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 crusty bread slices
- Head of radicchio
- Juice of one lemon (about 1 oz)
- 1 tsp vinegar (red wine, white wine or sherry are my go to)
- 4 T olive oil, divided
- 2-4 anchovies, finely chopped
- 1 oz pecorino romano or other hard cheese, such as parmesan or Manchego, finely grated with microplane, about 1 cup
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp Chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Finely grate or mince garlic into a small bowl or cup. Sprinkle with salt.
- Tear bread slices into bite sized pieces. I prefer them not to be uniform. Toss them in 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. They should be crispy on the edges, but soft and chewy in the middle.
- Wash and chop radicchio and place in a large bowl.
- Add lemon juice, vinegar, 3T olive oil, anchovies, and salt and pepper to the garlic to make the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and taste.
- Toss the radicchio in the dressing. Add croutons and the cheese. Season with salt pepper and adjust as necessary.
- Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.