Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Royal Rose Radicchio, Strawberry and Walnut Salad

Before we begin-I must apologize for the lack of new photos in this post- I ate the finished product before I remembered to snap some images.

As I briefly stated in my last post where I threw some incredible radicchio into a bowl with blue cheese, bacon and an amazing Balsamic vinegar, I have been the recipient of quite a few lovely heads of Royal Rose Radicchio.  I am now deep in the throws of finding delicious ways of using this bitter leaf vegetable. 

After making my delicious lunch salad on Sunday, I knew I wanted to make another salad for dinner, and since I had bacon and blue cheese leftover- I wanted to use them up as well.  The rest of my fridge contents contributed fresh strawberries, walnuts and the end of my jar of apricot jam that I purchased to make my I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Toast Ambassador recipe.  

Now, to some this sounds like a whole lot of ingredients that don't in, any way, go together.  However to me, this sounded like a perfect combination.  Bitter radicchio, sweet strawberries, tangy blue cheese, smoky bacon, and that wonderful nuttiness and crunch of the walnuts, all held together with apricot jam?  I was in.

I chopped half a head of radicchio, and sliced 7-8 strawberries into a bowl.  I fried up 4 slices of thick cut bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces.  I chopped about 1/4 cup of walnuts.  I tossed all of this together.  Then in a small bowl I combined 1/4 of a cup of apricot jam with a tablespoon and a half of champagne vinegar, two teaspoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and a healthy sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes.  Just before serving, I added the dressing to the salad bowl and stirred until all elements of the salad were well combined.

Honestly- I was a little worried about how this salad would turn out.  There were a lot of elements in it which didn't necessarily spell out "classic pairing".  However, the end result was truly delicious.  The radicchio was bitter as ever, full of all of those wonderful nutrients, but was perfectly offset by the sweet and slightly spicy dressing and the wonderful naturally sweet strawberries.  The bacon and the nuts provided some great textural contrast.  I have since eaten this salad a few times, and have shared it with friends who echoed my sentiments- it was a weird mix of ingredients, but really worked when pulled all together.  

This is a perfect summer salad- I'll definitely be recreating in the weeks ahead!  

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I love radicchio! It always reminds me of Italy. I like it in salads but my fave preparation is probably grilled.

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