And so here we are, in the absolute middle of winter, with cold winds blowing and month-old, sooty snow piled high outside. My initial zeal for fresh root vegetables, citrus and kale is waning. But the things is, the year more than most, I want fresh vegetables and the creamy, buttery gratins of the season just don’t sound appealing. So, for now at least, we are still eating vegetables, even as they become harder and harder to procure.
Unless you go to the grocery store–there you’d hardly know it was winter at all. They even have tomatoes! But you know, I have my standards, so I walked right by the tomatoes and picked up a beautiful purple radicchio. And then this salad was born. I wasn’t sure what I was after, I just wanted something bright, crisp, and fresh. And that’s just what we have here. A vivid salad with tender leaves, a hint of lime, a little bit of pecorino, and a classic mustard-lime vinaigrette. A perfect counterpoint to the heavier dishes of the season.
Radicchio Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
for the salad
1 head radicchio, washed, trimmed, and leaves torn
1/2 cup pecorino romano, shaved with a peeler
1 tablespoon lime zest
for the vinaigrette
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
2 pinches salt
To make the vinaigrette, pour the lime juice into a small bowl or jar. Gradually whisk in the oil, and then the mustard. Add the salt and zest. Toss the radicchio with several tablespoons of the vinaigrette, add an extra pinch of salt, and set aside for 15 minutes. The radicchio will wilt ever so slightly while it sits. When you are ready to serve, check the dressing and salt levels, and adjust if needed. Add the cheese, and a bit more lime zest for color, and serve.