The 2015 season has brought a much larger radicchio harvest than usual! We’ve been enjoying trying out some new preparations for this bitter chicory leaf. To balance out the bitter flavor of radicchio, this salad gets lots of sweetness from balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and figs. Crumbly blue cheese adds a salty dimension, but is totally optional.
1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil is generally used in making dressings, but for this I upped the balsamic to equal parts. The sweet tangy dressing perfectly complimented the bright purple radicchio. I used these gorgeous heirloom cranberry beans, from Greenstar Coop in Ithaca. If you can’t find them sub kidney beans or even white beans.
Radicchio & Cranberry Bean Salad with Figs
1 head of radicchio
2 1/2 cups cooked cranberry beans (from 1 cup dry) or 1 can beans of your choice
1/3 cup pecans, toasted & chopped
1/2 cup black mission figs, sliced crosswise
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
kosher salt to taste
Chop the radicchio in half, remove the core, and roughly chop into bite size pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the nuts, figs, and cheese.
Place the dressing ingredients in a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake to combine.
Toss the dressing and salad together. Season to taste with kosher salt.
*black mission figs and pecans also available in the bulk section at Greenstar Coop
*sub or add escarole with the radicchio for a colorful salad!