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)
1 cup pecans
2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed, halved and cored
1 small head radicchio, halved and cored
1 heart of Romaine lettuce
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).