I’ll come right out and say it: salads just aren’t as appealing during the depths of winter. With the cold weather, I’ll take all of the soups, stews or casseroles, thank you very much.
Many people here the term “seasonal eating” and think it’s only about the types of food we purchase and eat. That it’s only about eating strawberries in the summer and sweet potatoes in the fall. But truthfully, it goes much deeper than that. It’s about how we prepare those delicious, seasonal foods as well.
So while a salad definitely doesn’t always give me the comfort food vibes I crave during the cold winter months, I’m happy to report there are still plenty of ways to make it seasonally appropriate. To start, charring or lightly warming your greens like we’ve done here in these Charred Radicchio Wedges with Parmesan Yogurt Dressing helps takes the chill off and enhances the flavor of your dish.
Now you might be asking, well what greens actually are in season right now?
Of course, depending on where you live that can be a tricky question. However, chicories are a family of vegetables that thrive in cooler weather as the chill helps give them their distinguishable bitterness. The chicory family includes a bunch of leaves you probably have passed over several times before including Belgian endives, radicchio, frisee and escarole.
And to help give you some more recipe ideas this winter, I’ll be featuring chicories and more specifically, radicchio, in two recipes this month! I’ll also be sharing some tips about storage, how to shop for radicchio and some benefits of this gorgeous purple plant over on Instagram.
The thing I love about this dish most (aside from how it looks on the plate) is that it checks so many of my checkboxes when it comes to what makes a great recipe. First, it’s seasonal both in the ingredients and method. Next, it’s adaptable to what you have in your fridge or is right for your tastebuds (see below for some ideas). And lastly, it’s versatile. It comes together in under 15 minutes making it perfect for a weeknight side salad but it also would make the perfect centerpiece for a cozy dinner party with friends. Simply plate it on a large platter for everyone to take their wedge.
A few other things about this dish:
More Than a Side Dish: While this salad is perfect for both a weeknight side dish as well as an entertaining favorite, you can also turn this salad into a main meal with a few additions sprinkled on top. A few favorites:
Chopped hard-boiled eggs
Crispy pancetta or prosciutto
Substitutions: Not a fan of walnuts? Try slivered almonds or pine nuts.
I hope you give this often ignored vegetable a try and don’t forget to come back later this month for another seasonal recipe using radicchio. Signing up for my newsletter will make sure you never miss a recipe!
Charred Radicchio Wedges with Parmesan Yogurt Dressing
Time: 15 Minutes
For the Radicchio Wedges
1 large head of radicchio
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
For the Parmesan Yogurt Dressing
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 glove garlic, minced
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
1. In a large bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the yogurt, milk, lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, grated parmesan, sea salt and black pepper. Fold in the parsley until well combined.
2. Set the dressing aside for 10 minutes while you prepare the radicchio. Remove any outside wilted leaves off of the radicchio, Leaving the root intact, slice the radicchio in half lengthwise to create two halves and then cut in half lengthwise again to create four wedges.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the radicchio wedges in the pan with one of the cut sides down on each wedge. Cook 2 minutes or until it easily releases and the leaves are slightly charred. Turn over to the other cut side and repeat.
4. Remove the radicchio wedges from the skillet and place on a platter. Drizzle with the dressing before sprinkling with the chopped walnuts, chopped parsley, grated parmesan and lemon zest. Serve either warm or at room temperature.