Why It Works
- Layering the salad components ensures even distribution of ingredients and creates a variety of textures in every bite.
- Toasting bread crumbs ensures they stay crispy even after the salad's been dressed.
This is the kind of salad that eats like a meal. Bread crumbs and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano add heft, richness, and crunch, while the slightly bitter radicchio, Belgian endive, and parsley are offset by the super-savory anchovy vinaigrette.
You can vary the vegetables you use in the salad, but keep in mind that the main idea in this recipe is to push the envelope with how strongly you can flavor sturdy, bitter, and watery vegetables like fennel, radicchio, and endive, not only without them becoming unpalatable but to make them even more delicious. If you end up using sweeter greens, you'll want to dial down the salt and anchovy.
- For the Toasted Bread Crumbs:
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons panko-style bread crumbs
- Kosher salt
- For the Anchovy Vinaigrette:
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 small shallot ( about 1 1/2 ounces, 42g), sliced
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets (see note)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fresh lemon juice, from half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) Dijon mustard
- 5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- For the Salad:
- 1 stalk celery (about 4 ounces, 115g), peeled and sliced thinly on a bias
- 1 small fennel bulb (about 8 ounces, 225g), trimmed, cored, and sliced thinly
- 1 head radicchio (about 8 oz, 225g), leaves separated, large ones torn into 3-inch pieces, small ones left whole, rinsed and spun dry
- 2 Belgian endive (about 8 ounces, 225g), leaves separated and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, rinsed and spun dry
- Handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 1/2 ounce, 14g), rinsed and spun dry
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- For Serving:
- 2 ounces (57g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
- Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for garnish
For the Bread Crumbs: Heat oil in small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towel–lined plate and season with salt.
For the Anchovy Vinaigrette: Combine ingredients in cup of immersion blender or canister of a blender and blend until a smooth emulsion is formed. Set aside.
To Assemble the Salad: Combine celery, fennel, and anchovy vinaigrette in serving bowl. (If using multiple plates, divide celery, fennel, and anchovy vinaigrette evenly among bowls/plates. If you like, you can spoon the vinaigrette into the serving vessel to create a line of dressing around the rim, but this is entirely optional.) Toss vegetables until they are thoroughly coated in vinaigrette—they will appear overdressed.
In a large mixing bowl, combine radicchio, Belgian endive, and parsley. Season with salt, tossing to ensure even distribution. Add lemon juice and olive oil incrementally, tossing until vegetables are well-dressed but not dripping (you may not need all the lemon juice and oil).
Distribute dressed radicchio, Belgian endive, and parsley salad in even layer over dressed celery and fennel. Sprinkle layer with flaky salt, toasted bread crumbs, and cheese. Repeat the process, creating another even layer of dressed radicchio, Belgian endive, and parsley salad, topped with coarse salt, toasted bread crumbs, and cheese. Serve immediately.
The number of anchovy fillets to include in this vinaigrette is up to you and is dependent on your tastes and the quality of anchovies. Higher-quality anchovies tend to be less aggressively salty. Keep in mind it's meant to have quite a strong anchovy flavor, but de gustibus non disputandum est, ya know?