Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad
Not that we've had much of a winter this year (I haven't had to wear my fur boots once!), but there are still certain winter foods that I love. Warming soups and stews, hearty pasta dishes, braised pork over creamy polenta, roasted veggies, and homemade chicken pot pies. But alongside these wintry comfort foods, I like to serve a light, colorful, citrusy salad. A sort of palate cleanser, if you will, to cut through the richness of the main dish. In the summer, I practically live off salads, but in the winter, I like them more as a side dish.
This arugula, radicchio, and fennel salad is my favorite wintry combination–I love the bright colors, the pleasant crunch of the fennel, the peppery bite of the arugula, and the slightly bitter taste of the radicchio. I also like the simple lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice + extra virgin olive oil), and the salty finish of the Parmesan. The walnuts and Parmesan are optional, though both add wonderful flavor and depth.
This salad is simple, delicious, and healthy. And it plays well with other ingredients – try swapping out the lemon juice for orange juice and adding some sliced oranges. Add some toasted hazelnuts in lieu of walnuts and crumbled ricotta salata instead of Parmesan. Or for a light dinner, add a grilled chicken breast or a piece of grilled salmon. Be creative! We don't have much more winter left – it's creeping into the 60's this week in NYC! – so enjoy this salad for the weeks to come.[recipe:best-arugula-radicchio-fennel-salad-lemon-vinaigrette-recipe]