This red winter salad isn’t just pretty — it will nourish you. Like endive and another favorite bitter green, escarole, radicchio is a member of the chicory family and is rich in cancer-fighting... vitamins as well as an array of minerals. Just what we need to stay healthy in the winter! In this recipe, these bitter red “greens” are complemented by peppery arugula, sweet red beets and grapes, and mellow toasted hazelnuts.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a small sheet pan with parchment. Roast the grapes, if using, until they have shriveled, burst and given up their juices, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile toast the hazelnuts in a heavy pan until they just start to color. Turn out onto a cloth, fold to cover the nuts, and roll in the cloth to remove the skins. Roughly chop. Set aside.
In the bottom of a large salad bowl, beat the oil, vinegar, water if using, and salt to taste until blended. Add in the hazelnuts, the roasted grapes if using, and the beets. Toss together. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors develop.
Meantime pull apart the radicchio and stack the leaves in a pile. Slice into a thick julienne lengthwise. If using Treviso or endive, quarter them, cut out the cores, and slice into a thick julienne. Toss together with the arugula and pile on top of the beet mixture. When ready to eat, toss together with the beets and hazelnuts.
Beets and hazelnuts are a marriage made in heaven and great on their own.