This elegant salad with lovely bittersweet notes is perfect for a light Easter brunch.
Beautiful radicchio rosso from Treviso, one of the many amazing chicory types from Northern Italy, has wonderful purple curled leaves and a distinct bitter crunch which is greatly compensated by the sweetness of the ripe pear and the full, nutty taste of the avocado. The high protein content of this simple yet very satisfying salad is given by the soft goat cheese, the boiled egg and a handful of cashew nuts, briefly soaked in cold water together with the fennel seeds to make them easier to chew and digest.
You can chop everything coarsely and toss with the dressing in a big bowl, but individual plating looks a lot more impressive.
If you prepare the ingredients in advance, make sure you sprinkle the sliced pear with some lemon juice to avoid oxidation. Cut the avocado only just before serving or it will discolour too.
A glass of very light, slightly fruity bubbles or a strongly citrusy New Zealand’s white are probably the only alcoholic drinks that can complement this dish due to its slight bitterness.
Have a wonderful easter!
With thanks to Claudio who created this salad with me.
Insalata di Pasqua con radicchio di Treviso, pera, anacardi e avocado
1 bunch of radicchio salad from Treviso
½ teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 handful of cashew nuts
1-2 small celery stalks without the leaves
1 hard boiled egg
about 30 grams of soft goat cheese
½ ripe avocado
½ ripe pear
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Soak the cashew nuts and the fennel seeds in water for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove the outer leaves of the radicchio (discard the damaged ones, you can use them to make a risotto al radicchio) and keep them aside. Cut the rest of the radicchio in chunks after you’ve removed its root.
Cut the celery stalks in chunks and the peeled pear in slices. Drizzle the pear with the juice of half the lemon and keep aside.
Prepare the dressing with the olive oil, some lemon juice, salt and black pepper.
Lay the long radicchio leaves circularly on a plate and add the other ingredients, including the drained cashews and fennel seeds, scattering them over the leaves from the center towards the outer rim of the plate.
Peel and slice the avocado and add to the salad, together with the egg halves.
Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.