Tame the bitter nature of radicchio…
There are several ways to tame the bitterness of chicories, the type of leafy vegetable radicchio is. One obvious way is to counter the bitterness with sweetness. A less obvious but just as effective way is to match it head-to-head with some level of creaminess. Here, ripe green olives and the salty parmesan cheese team up in a one-two punch of creamy texture and salty essence that turns the bitter nature of raw radicchio into a bright and crunchy salad.
- 6 large green olives Castelvetranos are a perfect choice
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head radicchio
- Pit the olives: set them on a cutting board, smash each one with a knife handle, flat meat pounder, or the bottom of a small frying pan or saucepan. Remove and discard the pits. Mince the olives. You want them truly minced—almost to the point of being a paste. Go ahead and use the side of the knife to mash the olives a bit as you go. Put the minced olive/puree in the bottom of a large salad bowl.
- Peel and mince the garlic; add it to the olives. Whisk in the vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in half of the cheese. Whisk in the salt and pepper.
- Cut out and discard the core of the radicchio. Chop the head into salad-size pieces. Add them to the bowl. Toss them with the dressing on the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese for a snowy effect. Serve as soon as you like.