With its lush purple leaves and white veins, radicchio is an undeniably beautiful. But it's bitterness can be polarizing. Those who appreciate the tart, bracing flavors love it, but there are many who aren't fans of this particularly bitter chicory.
This Radicchio Salad with Tahini Lemon Drizzle adapted from Cheryl Sternman Rule's Ripe tempers that bitterness with creamy, rich tahini, mild butter lettuce, crunchy-crisp cucumbers and bright lemon juice. It's a gorgeous salad to behold and to enjoy, full of big tastes and unexpectedly thrilling flavors.
What Worked: Tempering radicchio's bitterness with a creamy element is genius. And while tahini wouldn't be out first thought, we're quite pleased that Sternman Rule thought it up.
What Didn't: This salad works wonderfully, we wouldn't change a thing.
Suggested Tweaks: Sternman Rule suggests adding adding Middle Eastern Mediterranean olives and feta to the mix and that just makes us think that a sprinkle of sumac or za'tar would make this salad that much more more exciting.
Read more: Cook the Book: 'Ripe'
- Yield:serves 8
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:15 minutes
- 1/2 small head radicchio, cored and chopped
- 1 head butter lettuce, cored and chopped
- 1/2 unpeeled English cucumber, cut in half moons
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 1⁄4 cup or 60 ml)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Toss the chopped radicchio and lettuce in a wide, shallow serving bowl.
Scatter the cucumber and avocado on top.
In a medium bowl, whisk the tahini, oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
Tip: Should the simplicity of this recipe make you uncomfortable, might I suggest the following complications? A fistful of black olives, a smattering of candied nuts, a sprinkling of croutons—none would be out of place, nor would a plate piled high with warm pita triangles alongside a small bowl of feta cheese.