Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Toasted Pecans

This tart winter slaw hits all the right notes - bitter radicchio, nutty toasted pecans, crunchy fennel and romaine, salty cheese, and a nice bright dressing. It's totally addictive, the perfect counterpoint to a rich main dish.  I think my favorite part of this dish are the pieces of pecan scattered throughout - toasting them until they're almost burnt gives them great flavor, and it's definitely worth the splurge even though pecans are pretty expensive these days.  It was also lots of fun to try out my new mandoline - it made slicing the fennel and radicchio a breeze.  You can also use the slicing function on a food processor or a sharp knife (and some patience) if you don't have a mandoline, something I've done lots of times in similar recipes before getting a mandoline.

Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Toasted Pecans (adapted from The Kitchn, original recipe here)
Serves 4-6

Olive oil
1 cup pecans
2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed, halved and cored
1 small head radicchio, halved and cored
1 heart of Romaine lettuce
Pecorino cheese

For the dressing:
1 Meyer lemon
2 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, until toasted.  Let cool, and then roughly chop.
2. Thinly slice the fennel and radicchio on a mandoline (about 1/8-inch thick).  Chop the Romaine heart into bite-sized pieces.  Toss together the fennel, radicchio, Romaine, and pecans in a large bowl.
3. Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake until combined.
4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and add salt or pepper if necessary.  Divide among plates, and top each serving with shaved Pecorino cheese (a vegetable peeler works well for this).


  1. I really love those huge shavings of Pecorino cheese on your salad. Yum!

  2. Oh, this does sound delicious! I love toasted nuts in anything, what a great compliment to a salad!

  3. I love it when nuts weasel their way into my slaws and salads! This does sound seriously refreshing and light for such a wintry dish!

  4. That looks great - especially with the Pecorino cheese.

    I still don't have a mandoline - it's on my "eventually" list. I'm not much of a kitchen gadget person until I'm convinced I'd use it frequently. I probably would.

    1. Yeah, it took me forever to decide to get a mandoline, but I have used it quite a bit since getting it...honestly, there is not all that much I've used it for that I couldn't have used the slicing function on my food processor, but the cleanup is way easier. :)