Winter Salad Days

Winter or summer, I like to eat a salad at least once a day.  In the summer it’s easy to slice up a perfect tomato and toss it with some fresh picked greens, sweet radishes and a sweet onion, but in the dead of winter, it can be challenging.  Packaged greens are tasteless and lacking in crunch and the tomatoes are cottony and not worth buying.

It’s time to look to other ingredients that are at their best in winter.  My favorites are radicchio, either the round Chioggia variety or the elongated Trevisano.  Other members of the endive family, like escarole and frisee, can be substituted, though they don’t have the gorgeous burgundy wine color that adds to radicchio’s appeal.  Tossed with a flavorful
dressing and a handful of fruit to contrast and sweeten the flavor,  this lively salad is a perfect starter to a winter meal.

Radicchio and Grape Salad 

If the grapes don’t look so good, try substituting an apple, pear or even orange wedges.

Serves 4

1-1/2 tablespoons minced parsley

1 tablespoon minced scallion

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces radicchio, torn into bite size pieces

1 cup green seedless grapes, halved

            In a salad bowl, whisk together the parsley, scallion, oil, honey, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

            In a serving bowl, toss together the radicchio and grapes.  Add the dressing and toss well.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve immediately.

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3 comments

1 Charles Scicolone { 02.12.12 at 3:03 PM }

Great salad for any times of year- had it last night!

2 Salvatore Fanara { 02.12.12 at 4:11 PM }

Sounds very tasty, I will have to try it before winter is over. I love iceberg lettuce and I tend to eat quite a bit of it whenever I can get some organic one. I haven’t had radicchio in a while and I usually eat it grilled or fresh with a aceto balsamico di modena, I like the creative mix of ingredients you have put together here especially balancing the natural bitterness of the radicchio with the refreshing simplicity of green seedless grapes. Brava!

3 Michele Scicolone { 02.15.12 at 6:51 PM }

Thanks, Salvatore. Hope you enjoy it!

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    • Michele Scicolone