Radicchio, fig, and apple salad. Late summer salad perfection.
This radicchio, fig, and apple salad is perfect come late summer when you’re tired of the typical salad selections but you’re not quite ready to swap cool leafy greens for warming soups. It’s crunchy, nutty, bitter, sweet, and surprising as can be. Try it. You’ll like it.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Radicchio, Fig and Apple Salad
For the walnut dressing
- 2 3/4 ounces walnuts toasted
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 3 1/2 fluid ounces light olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the radicchio salad
- 2 red dessert apples (Gala, Fuji, or your favorite)
- Good splash of apple juice (1/4 cup)
- 1 large head of radicchio cut into rough strips
- 8 small figs cut or torn into quarters
- 3 1/2 ounces creamy cow or goat cheese crumbled or sliced
- 3/4 cup Baby salad leaves
Make the walnut dressing
- Put the toasted walnuts, honey and half the oil into a food processor and blitz on a high speed until the mixture is fairly smooth. Careful not to overmix as it may become too thick to dress. Add the remaining oil and the vinegar and blitz again. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
Make the radicchio salad
- Core the apples, then slice them finely. Put them into a large bowl and cover with the apple juice, which helps to prevent oxidation.
- Just before serving, toss the apples, radicchio and figs together with some of the walnut dressing in the bowl. Transfer the mixture to a shallow serving plate and finish with the cheese and baby salad leaves. Drizzle over the remaining dressing to serve.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Once in a while you find a recipe that just works and that you know you will make again and again. This radicchio salad is one of those recipes that will go in my worn and stained binder of “tried and true” recipes. I found it easy to make and the perfect balance of flavor—the bitter and nutty notes of the radicchio with the sweetness of the dressing was delicious. This salad would be great with just apples or with dried figs in place of fresh when they’re out of season. As the author suggests, prosciutto or another smoked ham would be a lovely addition. I think some chopped walnuts would be nice for a bit of crunch. How about some roasted squash or sweet potato when fall rolls around?
This radicchio salad is a fresh, fruity, and crunchy salad, with some bitterness and a sour and sweet nuttiness. All the ingredients are perfectly balanced but you can replace some of them and still get a great dish (i.e., use pears instead of figs, endive instead of radicchio, or a different kind of cheese, like gorgonzola) just be certain to keep the sweet-bitter balance.
Oh, how I loved this salad! Fabulous tangy radicchio mellowed by the sweetness of the walnut dressing and figs topped with creamy crumbled goat’s cheese. Delish! Truly easy to make. Perfect for a quick light weeknight dinner or a lovely lunch.
I love this salad. The flavors are really well balanced. I would maybe add a bit more vinegar to the dressing the next time but otherwise it’s perfect. I used Fuji apples and goat cheese. I used quite a bit of baby salad leaves (baby chard, kale and spinach). This made the salad easily serve 8. This may not be what the author intended, but I really like the baby greens as a major player in the salad along with the other ingredients.
This radicchio salad was a hearty recipe to switch up my usual salad arrangements, which generally consist of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and, if I’m lucky, some chicken. The combination of sweet, creamy, crisp, and bitter all in one bowl made it fun to eat and more substantial than a regular garden salad. Plus it’s always fun to make your own dressing and be liberated of the store-bought selections. Just be careful not to overblend it in the food processor lest you end up with nut butter. I used 2 Kanzi apples (Gala and Braeburn hybrid) which were firm and sweet. I also used plain goat cheese
Originally published September 07, 2017