This is my favorite crunchy winter salad. In fact, it may be my favorite all time salad. Here, I combine salad tips and tricks I have learned over the past few years: the wonder that is the Via Carota salad dressing (Nytimes), the magic of combining celery and dates (Bon Appetit), and the fact that adding obscene amounts of shaved parm to any salad makes it infinitely better (common sense).
The great thing about this salad is that it is relatively customizable. Pine nuts can easily be swapped with pistachios, chopped pecans, or slivered almonds. Switch out the parm for any hard salty cheese of your choice: pecorino, ricotta salata, or even manchego would all work great. Just do me a favor and don’t omit the dates, even if you don’t love dates, because they provide the absolute best sweet contract to the bitter radicchio.
- The recipe for the Via Carota salad dressing will make enough for leftovers. If you plan to double the recipe, don’t double the salad dressing!
- This makes enough for 2 large portions, or 3 smaller side salads
Celery and Radicchio Salad with Dates, Pine Nuts, and ParmCourse: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
Here, I combine salad tips and tricks I have learned over the past few years: the wonder that is the Via Carota salad dressing (Nytimes), the magic of combining celery and dates (Bon Appetit), and the fact that adding obscene amounts of shaved parm to any salad makes it infinitely better (common sense).
- for the Via Carota Salad Dressing (from Nytimes), note: this makes enough for leftovers.
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon aged sherry vinegar, plus additional, as needed
1 tablespoon warm water
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 ½ teaspoons honey (optional)
2 sprigs thyme, washed and stripped
1 large clove garlic, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the salad
3 tbsp pine nuts
4 stalks celery, washed and dried
¼-½ head of radicchio, washed and rough chopped (about 3-4 oz if you’re feeling exact)
1 cup chopped parsley
6 or so small dates, chopped (more or less as desired, depends on how datey you want to get, but I recommend maximum datiness)
Lots and lots of freshly shaved (not grated) parmesan, pecorino, or really any hard cheese of your choice.
- To make the dressing, place the shallot in a fine-mesh strainer, and quickly rinse with cold water. Allow to drain, then place in a medium bowl, and add vinegar and warm water. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then whisk in oil, mustards, honey (if using), thyme, garlic and a large pinch of salt. Taste, and adjust salt and vinegar as needed.
- Put the pine nuts in a small skillet (no oil) and turn the heat to medium. Cook, shaking the pan regularly and stirring often, until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes or so. Don’t walk away during this process as they can easily burn. Remove from the pan into a small bowl.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the celery thinly at a diagonal angle, see reference image below.
- Add the celery, radicchio, parsley, chopped dates, and pine nuts to a bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, shave in lots and lots of parmesan or pecorino.
- Add dressing slowly, in batches, as you toss the salad (you’ll have plenty of leftovers, so don’t use the whole thing!), stopping when everything is dressed to your liking. Taste, and add more salt or freshly cracked pepper as desired.
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