Totally Rad-icchio

The San Francisco Giants swept the World Series last night. When Romo fired his final strike in the bottom of the 10th, the city erupted in a burst of orange joy. Totally rad.

This salad is a different kind of burst. A flavorful one. Bitter, sweet, and salty all at once. Totally rad-icchio.

Yesterday evening I donned my lucky orange cords and headed over to Katie and Jeff’s apartment armed with wine, salad fixings and snacks for Game Four. I’d had the good intention of making this radicchio and toasted walnut salad for weeks; ever since Elle told me about it and left behind a full bottle of pomegranate molasses. For weeks I’d come home and the molasses would stare at me from the counter top, daring me to twist off its top and unite it with complementary condiments like mustard and balsamic. I finally caved. I’m really happy I did.

I didn’t get a chance to get the complete salad recipe from Elle when she was staying with us. She mentioned radicchio and pecorino and walnuts, but I didn’t know much else. So I texted her a few days after she left to get the scoop. This is what Elle texted back:

Sweet gal! Yes! Chop radicchio, toast walnuts. Dressing is olive oil, balsamic, pom molasses, mustard, salt and pepper. Just toss while nuts are hot and grate pecorino over top. SO delicious!

Then I texted:

YUM!! Thank you!! I will make this weekend. Hope you are doing well sweet gal. [Heart emoticon. Salsa dancer emoticon.]

I lied about making it that weekend.  I made the pumpkin spice cake instead, which turned out to be a very good thing. When this Sunday rolled around it was radicchio time or bust. I whipped up a batch of the dressing in a Mason jar and put it, wine,  the walnuts and a hunk of pecorino in my bag. I popped into the grocery store and bought two heads of bitter chicory and an assortment of game time snacks.

The salad took all of five minutes to toss together. A quick toasting of the walnuts, chopping of the chicory, grating of the cheese and it was ready. We ate it in the 8th inning, when it was still anybody’s game. We determined it a winner, just like our Giants.

When the game ended we headed out the front door towards the noise in search of celebration. We found it. Orange joy. Totally rad-icchio.

Radicchio, Toasted Walnut and Pecorino Salad

Serves 4

Notes: Katie suggested adding chopped apple and Jeff thought bacon would be good. I agree on both fronts, although I think you’ll love this salad as is. All the measurements below are guesstimates because I didn’t measure anything. I suggest you mix and taste the dressing to get that perfectly sweet, acidic, salty balance.

For the salad:

Two heads radicchio, chopped

½ cup walnuts, chopped

Large hunk of pecorino cheese, grated

For the dressing:

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons stone ground mustard

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts until lightly browned and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Watch them closely because they turn quickly from toasted to charred.

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with radicchio and warm walnuts in a large bowl. Add pecorino and toss again.

Taste bud home run.

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One thought on “Totally Rad-icchio

  1. We will serve this to friends this weekend. Looks terrific and I never would have thought of it. We’ll toast walnuts and the Giants and our happy hip and hopping Happelsauce and her hardworking hermana. What have you got up your sleeve for Tuesday? XOXOXOXOX P and H

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