Oddly, winter is my favourite time of the year for salad because it is when fennel, bitter leaves (the love of radicchio is in my genes) and citrus are in season – a heavenly combination that is extremely versatile and rewarding. It all makes for a lovely dinner alongside some pan-fried trout, some chicken or just a piece of cheese and some bread (and wine).
Radicchio Fennel Salad
2 small heads radicchio Veronese or Chioggia
A generous handful wild rocket
1 large round fennel
Juice of 1 orange
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Parmesan shavings, to taste
Wash all the leaves, spin dry and transfer to a salad bowl. Wash the fennel, cut it in half and discard the branches. Slice as thinly as possible, either using a knife or a mandolin. Arrange on top of the leaves.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together orange juice and oil, then adding the vinegar and the salt, until you have a creamy emulsion. Pour over the salad as soon as ready yo serve.
Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds all over the salad, then top with generous Parmesan shavings. If you like some crunch in your salad, walnuts make a nice addition.