This is seriously one of the best salads I've ever had - and that's saying a lot, since I'm such a fan of the rabbit food. But my friend Jeff made this salad for a backyard potluck we had a couple weeks back, and I haven't had my fill of it yet. Not only did I devour a huge portion that first night, I made him leave all the extra fixins so I had leftovers for days and days. And then I went and bought the ingredients and made even more. And as of this very moment, I'm faced with a serious radicchio shortage in my fridge, and may have to stop writing about this salad and get to the nearest Whole Foods before panic sets in. Seriously, this is an addiction folks.
Turns out, that there's a reason it's so damn good. The recipe comes from one of Napa Valley's most acclaimed restaurants; Jeff learned it from the restaurant's equally acclaimed chef when he was working there years ago. (I am going to decline to state the restaurant and chef, since I'm sure Jeff made off with a trade secret!) So just between you, me and the fencepost, make this at home and save the $14 you'd spend on it a la carte in the restaurant that shall not be named.
Even if you're not into radicchio, trust me on this one - it's outta sight. I'm just gonna wrap it up quickly with the recipe, since I've got an errand to run (here I come Whole Foods!).
Contributed by Jeff Hunsaker
- 1/2 - 1 head of radicchio per person
- Croutons, heaps (unseasoned, homemade croutons are the best way to go here; just bake up some cubes of day-old bread until they're crunchy)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated garlic (use a microplane to grate it extremely thin)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sherry wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese