Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews
A wonderful winter salad you can make at home in a matter of minutes
This time of year, when the vegetable scene here in the middle of our Midwestern winter has been diminished drastically, radicchio is something I rely on. It’s not local, but it is a lovely way to get a little lively, gently bitter, boldness into my salad bowl! Radicchio, to my taste, is significant enough to stand up for itself, but also plays well with other ingredients.
For this salad, buy a head or two of fresh radicchio. Slice it thinly as you might cabbage for coleslaw. If you can find a bit of Belgian endive, slice it and add it to the salad as well; its gentle bitterness and pale-yellow color both serve as a nice contrast and complement to the radicchio. Find some great apples—there are still some wonderful ones at the farmers market and Argus Farm Stop. Pears will work well, too. Cut the fruit into chunks and add it to the radicchio. Add in a small handful of high-quality raisins or other chopped dried fruit. Get some good walnuts—I love the Red Walnuts we have at the Deli—and toast gently in a hot, dry sauté pan. When they’re ready, coarsely chop and add them to the salad. Get some great blue cheese—I love the 2022 release of Rogue River Blue, and Tammie is a big fan of the Chiraboga Blue we have at the Deli from Germany. Both the Deli and the Cream Top Shop have a wide range of great blue cheeses, so stop by and sample as many as you like and pick one that’s to your taste.
Sprinkle on some good sea salt. Dress with some good subtly sweet vinegar. The Gingras apple cider vinegar from Quebec, or the Quince vinegar we have from the Trentino region of northern Italy, are two of my favorites. Add some good olive oil and toss gently. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper—try the newly arrived black pepper from Elephant Valley in India that’s on the Deli’s shelves right now. Eat and enjoy! It’s only eight weeks now ’til spring!