Radicchio is an Italian chicory known for being bitter and spicy. Sadly, many people have bad encounters with it that scare them off from ever eating it again. Please don’t be afraid of radicchio! Simply tame it by reining in its flavors. Set up this ingredient to shine and you and your family will be rewarded.
This Nourishing Traditions recipe does an excellent job of highlighting the great bitter flavor of the radicchio. The other ingredients create a harmony that will definitely impress diners who complain about salad being boring—this is anything but boring. Instead, it shows how simple ingredients can combine to make complicated taste experiences.
Most recipes call for radicchio to be either roasted or grilled to mellow its bitterness. When I first read that it was served raw I was a bit apprehensive. I had no idea how the flavors would end up working together but they worked surprisingly well. I highly recommend this dish. My husband and I ate the whole bowl and we can’t wait to make it again.
Tips for making
- Yes, baking the onions slows down the salad making process, but it’s worth the extra time and attention. Their caramelization provides a flavor that can’t be beat.
- The onions are a key flavor component and add a lot to the success of the salad so be sure to use a good quality onion.
- We mixed the orange slices into the salad by cutting them up instead of placing them whole on top. The juiciness spread throughout the salad was a refreshing delight.
- We also mixed in the crunchy onion bits. I think tossing it in this way made the salad easier to eat but it’s up to you.
- Watch the onions carefully while baking. You don’t want to spend all that time waiting for them only to bake them to a crisp. Ours were done at around 90 minutes so use caution.
Tools we used:
- USA pans baking sheets are my favorite
- These tongs are invaluable in the kitchen and for turning hot food in the oven or for serving
- This salad would be absolutely beautiful on these salad plates
Radicchio and Orange Salad
Page in NT: 181
- 3 large heads radicchio, finely shredded
- 2 oranges, peeled and divided into section (blood oranges would also be wonderful)
- 2 red onions (or sweet onions)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup fresh orange dressing (page 134 in NT)
- sea salt
- Place onions on an oiled cookie sheet and brush with olive oil, lightly sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for several hours until the roasted onions are brown, dried, and crunchy.
- Mix radicchio with dressing and divide onto four salad plates.
- Top with orange wedges and caramelized onion slices.
- Serve immediately.