Thursday, June 27, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Radicchio Caesar Salad

A few weeks back, Brian and I met up with friends at Oven and Shaker in Portland for dinner.

We all shared the most amazing Caesar salad and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since then (I've even thought about stopping by to pick one up to-go for my Friday train ride to Seattle).

Radicchio is an interesting lettuce.  It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted  It has been around since ancient times and it's been praised for its medicinal properties.  It strangely contains intybin, which is a sedative/analgesic.

In Italy, it's very popular and often eaten grilled in olive oil or mixed into dishes such as pasta and risotto.

This is a wonderful variation from traditional Caesar Salad and the dressing is spectacular.


Oven and Shaker/Nostrana Radicchio Caesar

Serves 4-6

2 large heads radicchio
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 oil packed anchovy fillets, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
1 cup olive oil
3 cups cubed 3/4" focaccia
1 1/4 cup butter
1/2 tablespoon chopped sage
1/2 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


Break radicchio into 1-1/2 inch pieces and soak in ice water for 2 hours.

To make dressing; mix together garlic and a pinch of salt with the back end of a sharp knife until it forms into a paste.  Add to a food processor along with vinegar, wine, mayo, anchovies and egg yolks.  Begin processing, then drizzle in olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.  Season with a bit more salt and black pepper.

To make croutons; preheat oven to 375.  Bake the bread cubes on a large baking sheet until toasted all over, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the herbs, cook until fragrant.  Turn off heat, spoon over croutons and toss well.  Let cool.

To assemble salad; drain the radicchio, spin well in a salad spinner and place in a large salad bowl.  Toss with enough dressing to coat well, add croutons, then add cheese.

Picture found on Google Images