Apple Chicory Salad with Fennel, Walnuts, and Grana
Simple salads like these are all about high-quality ingredients, so use the best of everything you can find. If you're new to chicories, stick with the milder varieties such as endive and radicchio, or use a mix of chicories and lettuce if you prefer. Grana is the younger, sweeter cousin to parmesan, but I've offered a few suggestions below if you can't find any. These measurements are loose, so feel free to adjust the salad components to your taste.
Servings: 2 large or 4 smaller servings
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (more to taste)
- 4 cups chicory leaves (a mix of endive, radicchio, and Treviso), in large pieces
- 1 medium apple, cut off the core and thinly sliced
- 1 medium watermelon radish, peeled if skin is tough, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1-2 ounces grana, shaved (or other crumbly aged cheese such as parmesan, manchego, gruyere, or asiago)
- ½ cup (50 g) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped or broken up
- arils from half a large pomegranate (optional)
- flaky salt such as Maldon
- ground black pepper
In a small jar, combine the shallot and salt. Mash with a small spoon until pulpy. Add the vinegar, stir to combine, then add the olive oil.
In a large bowl, combine the chicories with the apple, radish, and fennel. Spoon over some of the vinaigrette, making sure to grab some of the vinegar and shallot that will settle on the bottom, and toss to combine. Sprinkle over the cheese, walnuts, pomegranate if using, and a few pinches of salt and pepper and toss gently. Taste, adding more vinaigrette, salt, pepper, or olive oil if you feel the salad needs it. Serve right away.