It’s been ages since I posted a recipe here – apologies. I’ve been missing it though, and I’m happy I got to make this little winter salad. Radicchio has a delicious bitterness but also a mild nutty flavor that only comes out when it’s grilled or braised. In fact, this article from the New York Times from 1988 (!) says it all – time to eat more radicchio, for sure. Here I combined it with creamy avocado and a tangy lemon-mustard dressing to balance the bitterness and bring out the sweetness. It’s nice to mix the warm grilled radicchio with the fresh ingredients. A little ricotta salata adds some salt but is not absolutely necessary. Same with the almonds – which can be replaced with hazelnuts or even cashews I guess.
Ingredients (for two portions):
One head of radicchio
One palm-sized piece of ricotta salata, crumbled
A handful of raw almonds
A teaspoon of dijon mustard
One small apple
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (450 degrees F). Remove the bottom of the stem of the radicchio and cut it into eight wedges. Brush each wedge with olive oil and place them in a pan or on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about fifteen minutes, check on them from time to time to make sure the edges don’t brown too much. They should wilt a little but not dry out completely. When they are ready, set them aside to cool off a little.
Cut the avocado and the apple into slices. Chop the almonds roughly and toast them in a pan over high heat without oil for two to three minutes, just to brown them a little.
For the vinaigrette, cut the lemon in half and parse out the flesh into a bowl, catching the juice along with it. Add about three tablespoons of olive oil and the mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette well with a fork so it emulsifies.
Arrange the roasted radicchio on plates or a serving platter, add the avocado and apple slices and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the toasted almonds and the crumbled ricotta salata on top. Enjoy!