One thing that most of us have learned from years of posting to Instagram? A visually stunning dish that looks as beautiful as it tastes can add major wow factor to a meal. And though a leafy green salad piled high with aesthetic toppings and colorful vitamin-rich veggies is always a standout, today’s salad breaks the norm. The springtime winner of “most photogenic” side officially goes to: this pink radicchio salad with blood oranges and hazelnuts.
Camilla Marcus made this salad at the garden-to-table lunch she hosted in LA last month (be sure to hop on over for the other recipes she prepared that day). And if you’re new to the world of radicchio, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of my favorite colorful veggies to grill, roast, or add to a salad raw, bursting with a delicious bitterness that’s just made to combine with olive oil. Here’s what you need to know.
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What is the best way to eat radicchio?
Radicchio is one of those ingredients that can be enjoyed in plenty of dishes without spending hours prepping in the kitchen. In this recipe, radicchio is served raw and accompanied by a vinaigrette that adds the perfect amount of pop to this veg. However, the possibilities extend far beyond salads with radicchio. You can grill, sauté, or roast any variation of radicchio to experiment with texture and flavor.
How to Take the Bitterness Out of Radicchio
When radicchio is cut or chewed, certain chemical compounds are released, making this veggie a tad bitter. To cut down on this acidity, radicchio is sometimes soaked in water after the leaves are cut. In this recipe, the vinaigrette for the salad is used to combat the pesky bitterness.
How to Prepare Radicchio
As the texture and flavor of radicchio differ from that of lettuce, the preparation process is a bit different. Choosing radicchio heads with firm leaves is key, especially when using the leaves in a raw salad like this one. Start by removing any leaves that look wilted and cut the radicchio in half before removing the v-shaped stem. From there, it’s up to you how to further dissect your veggie before cooking. Once you’ve chosen your method of cooking, pairing radicchio with salty or tangy flavors helps tone down the bitterness.
More Spring Salad Recipes You’ll Love
Need more salad inspo this spring? These recipes have you covered.
Pea Salad with Mint and Microgreens
Scroll on for the recipe, and if you make this pink radicchio salad, be sure to leave a rating and comment below!
The surprising shade of pink isn’t the only thing to love about this salad—it’s filled with a variety of delicious toppings and a tangy vinaigrette.
- 4 heads pink radicchio (Camilla used Wiser farms)
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 4 blood oranges
- 4 ounces ricotta salata or aged cheddar
- 1 cup fresh herbs (fennel fronds, parsley, chives, dill, mint, basil—whatever you’ve got)
- 1/2 cup west~bourne extra-virgin avocado oil
- 1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh fruit juice—use whatever you have on hand!
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of ground cumin, to taste
- Pinch of ground coriander, to taste
- Make dressing: shake up everything in a mason jar. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Toast hazelnuts and rub between towels to remove some of the skin.
- Wash and dry radicchio. Remove whole leaves and pile into large salad bowl.
- Remove peel and pith from blood oranges. Slice thinly into wheels.
- Shave ricotta salata.
- Top the radicchio with the blood orange slices, cheese, and hazelnuts. Add a liberal amount of dressing, season with salt and pepper, then use your hands to massage it into all the leaves. Top with fresh herbs, give it another toss and serve.