Last week I received an email from Royal Rose Radicchio announcing their new campaign, salads for adults. Their (ingenious) idea creates salad dressings that include alcohol to spice them up for a fun kick to a boring salad. Now it is my personal opinion that when using radicchio a salad is pretty exciting already. Radicchio is a type of chickory, extremely bitter in flavor, but pairs beautifully with so many different flavors, brightening each against its strong flavor. So, when I received the email from Royal Rose, and they offered to send me some samples of their radicchio- I jumped at it.
Friday evening I arrived home and there awaiting for me was one giant box chock full of beautiful red/purple radicchio. Sunday afternoon, after an indulgent weekend of treats I was craving something leafy, and something fresh. Now I'm all about the adult style salad dressings, but this being a rainy salad where I didn't want to rush around looking for too many ingredients, I decided instead to make something from what I had at home.
My refigerator, besides containing quite a few heads of radicchio, also had a bit of bacon, and some blue cheese. And then, my pride and joy, a beautiful bottle of Rabio Balsamic Vinegar that I was given during the Bertolli tour of the North End a few weeks ago. Rabio is an amazing Balsamic- sweet, thick and without any of the mouth pucker that can come with vinegar. Honestly, Im not sure that words can do it justice. I could drink Rabio Balsamic straight from the bottle.
To begin my salad, I started by slicing bacon into small pieces and frying them up in a pan. I drained them, and sat them aside while I peeled off the out leaves of the radicchio, sliced and chopped about half the head, and tossed it into a big salad bowl. I crumbled about a 1/4 cup of blue cheese into the bowl, added the bacon bits and combined gently with my hands. I plated the mix, and then lightly drizzled the balsamic over the top.
The combination of flavors was so delicious. Smoky bacon, stinky blue cheese, bitter radicchio all sweetened up with that wonderful balsamic.....simple perfection.
I am really excited to make the dressings created by Royal Rose, but I have to say- this was a great start to my week of radicchio.