I am learning to love radicchio. I am drawn to its deep purple and pale pink leaves, but like almost all new couples, we’ve taken a while to figure out each other’s quirks. I’ve learned that I find radicchio’s bitterness too strong sometimes on its own, so I’ve been experimenting with ways to pair this winter wonder with other favorite ingredients that brings balance to my bowl. This salad was a wildcard when I threw it together. I made use of what already existed in my fridge, and tried my best to think about what could balance out Romanesco’s nuttiness and the bitterness of Castelfranco radicchio. I reached for feta, Kalamata olives, and limes. To my delight (and frankly surprise), this Italian and Greek medley was scrumptious- the perfect mix of creamy, cool, and complex.
· Castelfranco radicchio
· Kalamata Olives
· Olive Oil
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Wash and chop your Romanesco into bite size florets. (Tip: turn upside down and cut from the bottom of the floret outwards, removing florets one by one). Place Romanesco on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Mix well and space florets evenly to prevent steaming. Roast for 15 minutes, flip florets, then roast for another 10-15 minutes.
3. While Romanesco is roasting, washing and chop your radicchio into thin shreds. Add desired amount to a bowl. I’ve estimated this salad to feed 1 person, so multiply the following ingredients and measurements accordingly: add ½ an avocado (diced), along with 5-8 Kalamata olives, and a sprinkle of feta cheese to taste.
4. When the Romanesco is done, let it cool approximately 2 minutes, then add it to your salad. Squeeze ¼ of a lime over the radicchio, then drizzle with olive oil (start light, add more if necessary). Toss your salad in a large bowl, mixing the lime and olive oil with the creamy avocado so that the radicchio is well coated. Plate and relish in the bitter beauty of radicchio.