Who said you can’t make an interesting salad during the winter months? It was not me.
This Apple and Radicchio Salad is bright and fresh when it’s cold and dreary outside. I love the red and greenness of it. (Greenness is totally a thing). Normally I consider radishes a summer vegetable. I think of them as one of the first crops harvested out of backyard gardens. But this year, in the cold of winter I was surprised to find them in our local CSA delivery bins. And I must say I’ve grown fond of having them around during the colder months. Crispy redness. (Redness is a thing too.)
For the most part this salad can be prepared ahead of time and it will easily feed a crowd. And – bonus – it’s a bit more fancy than throwing a bag of coleslaw mix together with a bottle of dressing. The dressing is sweet and rich because of the walnut oil. Just a touch of honey or agave to bring out the sweetness of the fruit and compliment the apples. I used clementines because I had a bunch on hand. You could use orange if you’d like.
This recipe makes a tonne. Lots. Great for a potluck or brunch buffet. Serve it like a slaw all tossed together in a pretty bowl. Otherwise it can be plated – which is really nice too for a more formal meal.
The first time I made this, I made twice what you see here for a dinner party of 10 people. I had more salad than I knew what to do with. So.much.salad. Logically… those little heads of radicchio..They are just so small. I just never thought there could possibly be so much… so don’t double unless you really, really want to feed a lot of people. But know it’s not much effort to double this one.
You can prepare the dressing and the greens the day before. If you have time, toast the walnuts a bit too. Everything but the apples. I sliced the apples just before tossing with the salad and dressing to keep the apples from turning brown.
However, I will tell you, as I said I had so much salad the first time.If packed in an airtight container, leftover salad (with the apples, but no dressing) will stay fresh and pretty for a day or two.The greens still nice, crisp – because they are a more sturdy type. If you just toss what you need with dressing, just before serving, you can keep this tucked in the refrigerator for a bit. This salad is based on a recipe I found in Cooking Light magazine’s December 2010 issue. I’ve added some greens to the mix and a little sweetness to the dressing to highlight the clementines.
3 tablespoons juice from fresh squeezed clementines (about 2)
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
a healthy pinch of salt
1 small head of radicchio, thinly sliced
1 small head of boston lettuce, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into julienne strips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
For the dressing: In a mason jar or other container with a air-tight lid, add all ingredients for the dressing. Secure lid and shake well until combined. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.
To assemble the salad: Toss all salad ingredients into a large salad bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and divide between serving plates and sprinkle each plate with chopped walnuts. Alternatively, toss all items together in a large serving bowl with vinaigrette and walnuts and serve buffet style.