A Welcome Winter Salad

winter salad 1

My family has been making this salad for so long I no longer remember the origin of the recipe. I only remember that my mom set it on the table for a dinner party and we were all smitten (oranges + endive + honey mustard + the ’70s).

Inevitably over the years the salad acquired an Italian accent. I’ve added, at various times, radicchio and/or arugula to the endive, balsamic vinegar to the dressing, toasted hazelnuts as a garnish. A version made it into my second cookbook, Big Night In.

I don’t know what it is about the end of the holidays and cold winter nights that makes me crave crunchy, bitter greens, but I’ve made this salad twice in the last week and I have no plans to stop. Bonus: it goes great with winter comfort food, such as Gabriella’s pot roast, lamb alla cacciatore, and spaghetti frittata.

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Now that the holidays are behind us, you may be thinking ahead to 2016 travel. If you’re interested in exploring delicious Italy off the beaten path, consider our Abruzzo Presto/Domenica Cooks culinary tour of Abruzzo in September. You can find the details on my tours page, and please feel free to forward the link to friends and family with the travel bug.

While this blog focuses almost exclusively on Italian recipes, I enjoy cooking all sorts of food. For a glimpse into my kitchen beyond this site, check out my Instagram feed, which I usually update several times a day.

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Makes 6 to 8 servings

Winter Endive and Orange Salad

Crunchy bitter greens and bright citrus make this salad especially appealing in winter. It takes well to variation; use juicy navel oranges, or a colorful mix of cara cara and blood oranges. Other optional additions include red onion, Romaine lettuce, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. Just be sure not to add them all, or you will muddy the bright flavors. Recipe from Big Night In (Chronicle Books, 2008).


  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • For the salad:
  • 2 to 3 heads Belgian endive, cut crosswise into 2-inch strips
  • 2 small heads round radicchio di Chioggia, radicchio di Treviso, or red endive, cut crosswise into 2-inch strips
  • 1 large head red leaf lettuce, torn into large pieces
  • 1 bunch arugula, tough stem ends removed
  • 2 juicy chilled oranges, peeled with all white pith removed, sliced into thin rounds

  • Optional adds (only add 1 or 2 at most):
  • Toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • Toasted slivered almonds
  • Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Thinly sliced Asian pear


Make the dressing: In a bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually incorporate the oil, pouring it in a thin stream and whisking all the while to achieve an emulsified dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt if you like.

Assemble the salad: Mix all of the greens together and arrange them in a large, deep serving platter. Drizzle 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing over the greens and toss to coat them. Arrange the orange slices (and any other garnish) on top and drizzle a little more dressing on top (you may not use it all). Serve immediately.

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14 Responses to A Welcome Winter Salad

  1. Rosa Jeanne Mayland January 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    A delightful salad! So fresh, colourful and flavourful.



  2. marisa@allourway.com January 6, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    This may be a winter salad but the colors remind me of the freshness of spring and the colors of summer. We eat salad every evening with our dinner — this would be perfect with a chicken recipe I’m thinking of making. Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Domenica Marchetti January 7, 2016 at 7:54 am #

      The colors are definitely appealing, especially on a dreary winter day. Enjoy Marisa!

  3. Chiara January 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    molto sfiziosa , colorata e deliziosa, buon 2016 Domenica !

  4. Marguerite Rigby January 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

    Too bad I didn’t see this before I shopped today. We’re having your Spezzatino di Agnello con Fagiolini e Farro tonight. Next time…or with the leftovers. I have turned into a farro nut.

    • Domenica Marchetti January 7, 2016 at 7:57 am #

      Oh yes, this salad would be a great side to the lamb stew. I haven’t made that one in awhile. As for farro, me too. Wish we could get Alfonso’s farro over here. I’m all out! xo

  5. elisa January 7, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    We must be on the same planet lately, because I, too, can’t get enough salads in my being! I buy Romaine hearts at Trader Joe’s, and although I never buy bagged greens, I found that these Romaine hearts are really crunchy, but I cut all the tops off, the dark green parts (sorry, I like the white leaves) and I make a salad dressing with EVO, fresh orange juice, apple cider vinegar mixed with Trader Joe”s Organic Mayo (this one is addictive) The mayo has a quite a bit of fat, but I figure the vinegar will counteract it (?!). I add whatever I have on hand, albacore tuna, chicken breast, diced fresh mozzarella. What do I do with the cut green top leaves? I give them to the winter birds, they love fresh soft greens and in the spring help them to lay easier their eggs. (I used to work in my dad’s pet shop….) Buon 2016!!!!

    • Domenica Marchetti January 8, 2016 at 10:37 am #

      We are most definitely on the same wavelength, Elisa. I sometimes whisk in a dollop of mayonnaise ~ I’ll have to try TJ’s brand. I like the idea of fortifying this salad with tuna or other proteins. It’s good that you have a thought for the winter birds; they so welcome at this time of year. I often hear them in my neighbor’s bamboo patch on my daily walks and I’m grateful for their song on these gray winter days.

  6. ciaochowlinda January 7, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Arugula, endive and radicchio salad (tricolore) has always been my favorite, but the oranges are a great addition, especially with the delicious citrus available now.

    • Domenica Marchetti January 8, 2016 at 10:38 am #

      Yes, lots of good citrus ~ more variety than we used to get here!

  7. elisa January 13, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    Today I made this salaad for lunch, exactly the way you show it, it was absolutely refreshing!

  8. Frank Fariello January 27, 2016 at 9:46 am #

    Healthy yes, but it’s quite beautiful, too.

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