I wrote this over 3 years ago and apparently never hit send. This salad was originally inspired by a roasted chicory salad from 24 Diner in Austin, Texas. I would have never ordered such a salad (as I do not love the bitter chicories) but my friend LoTro convinced me and I was quickly hooked. It was my go-to every time. And then I started experimenting and making this at home–frequently. I just saw a picture of her and her baby bump and was reminded of this salad and wondered what ever happened to my post. And there it was sitting sadly in my saved drafts. So here go, as delicious as ever.
Sometimes you have to give certain foods another chance. A fresh start. A new opportunity to take residence in the crisper. I’m looking at you, Radicchio.
Radicchio: a chicory of a red variety with variegated leaves that is used as a salad green. It’s a little too cold to think about cold salads right now, so I’m mixing things up and roasting this hearty red chicory. A little olive oil, a little salt and a bit of acidity go a long way to turn this bitter chicory into a tasty warm salad. You could simply serve this as a side dish or do as I do and take it a little further by making it into a healthy and hearty meal. I even made this at my friend LoTro’s wedding rehearsal dinner once upon a time and I do believe it was a crowd pleaser.
Roasted Radicchio, Celery, Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad
1 medium heads radicchio
4+1 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 stocks celery
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 ounces soft/crumbly goat cheese
1 small shallot, finely minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the radicchio into quarters and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle 4 Tablespoons oil over the radicchio and sprinkle a pinch of salt onto each quarter. Rub oil and salt into all sides. Roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until wilted and some parts slightly charred. About 2 minutes before the radicchio appears done, sprinkle the balsamic over the quarters. You can also do this out of the oven later but I like the extra sweetness the vinegar gets as it bakes for a minute or two.
While the radicchio is roasting, prepare the other ingredients: Peel the celery, getting rid of the tough veins. Slice thinly on a diagonal. In a small bowl mix the shallot, zest, lemon, remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. If you were too timid to add the vinegar during the cooking time, add it to the bowl too. Let the dressing sit.
When the radicchio is ready, place on serving plate and top with the celery, walnuts and goat cheese. Pour the dressing evenly over all. Serve and enjoy.