I was looking for a fresh, flavorful Italian-style salad to pair up with my Muffuletta sandwich, and Sabrina discovered this unique sounding recipe. I love the crunchy contrast of textures and flavors that shine in this salad. Sweet-tart dried cherries, with crisp, raw shaved fennel, along with bitter lettuce like endive and radicchio... all brought together with toasty nuts and savory caesar-like dressing. Quite an upscale salad!
- ½ cup pine nuts (I used toasted chopped pecans)
- 2 Tbls red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbls minced shallot
- 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 large fennel bulbs—halved lengthwise, cored and very thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 Belgian endive—halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 small head of radicchio (6 oz.)—halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
- ½ cup dried cherries
- Freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat, shaking the pan, until the nuts are lightly golden, about 4 min.
In a blender, combine the vinegar, shallots, anchovies, mustard and garlic and puree until smooth. With the blender on, drizzle in the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the fennel slices with the endive and radicchio. Add the anchovy vinaigrette, pine nuts (I used chopped pecans) and cherries and toss to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper, garnish with cheese shavings and serve.