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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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.