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Radicchio and Cauliflower Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

The mildness of cauliflower balances radicchio’s assertive, bitter flavor.  If you’re concerned about the raw yolk in the dressing, buy pasteurized eggs. To make the salad a meal, serve thinly sliced, seared skirt steak alongside.

  • 1 medium head radicchio (about 1/2 lb.)
  • 1-1/2 cups coarse, fresh breadcrumbs (from a country-style French or Italian loaf)  
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small cauliflower (about 1-1/4 lb.), cored and cut into 1-inch florets  
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar; more as needed  
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard  
  • 1 large egg yolk 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 

Remove any damaged outer leaves from the radicchio, quarter it, remove the core, and cut each quarter crosswise into 1-inch widths.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Put the breadcrumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and toss lightly with 2 Tbs. of olive oil to coat evenly. Spread in a thin, even layer and season lightly with salt. Bake, stirring every few minutes, until crisp and light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool on the pan. 

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, spread on a baking sheet, and set aside at room temperature. 

Put the garlic in a mortar, add a pinch of salt, and pound to a paste with a pestle. Or mince and then mash to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife. Combine the garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolk, and then slowly whisk in the remaining olive oil until emulsified. Taste with a piece of cauliflower and season with more vinegar or salt if necessary. 

Put the cauliflower in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Add the radicchio and parsley, season with salt and pepper, and toss again with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Taste and add more salt or vinaigrette if necessary. Gently transfer the salad to a platter or individual serving plates; it’s best if it’s arranged somewhat flat. Drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on the salad (you may not need it all), scatter the breadcrumbs on top, and serve. 

Variations

For a tasty variation, try adding black olives or finely chopped hard-cooked egg.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 320; Fat (g): fat g 27; Fat Calories (kcal): 240; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4; Protein (g): protein g 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 19; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 440; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 30; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

YUMMY! Just loved this salad. And loved the colour and presentation. I used stale olive foccacia bread for the bread crumbs. Added a great crunch! Just loved it.

Always looking for new salad ideas, and this one's a definite keeper. Because I find steamed cauliflower a little bland and watery, I roasted mine instead, which really brings out the sweetness, pairing beautifully with the bitter radicchio. (Just toss with a little olive oil and salt, then spread out on a baking sheet in 375 oven till brown and somewhat caramelized, about 20 mins, then cool to room temp.) The black olives are a great addition.

This was very flavorful. I might add some blanched green beans next time, too.

A lovely winter salad-- the breadcrumbs are so great, like micro-croutons! I love the different greens too-- parsley is such an under-used salad herb. Also, I had some leftover greens the next day and re-made the salad with goat cheese instead of cauliflower-- that was even better!

Excellent flavors and pairs well with simple beef as suggested. Keeps well for lunch the next day. Paleo option: substitute roasted minced pistachio or flax seed for bread crumbs.

Excellent flavors and pairs well with simple beef as suggested. Keeps well for lunch the next day. Paleo option: substitute roasted minced pistachio or flax seed for bread crumbs.

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