This striking radicchio salad is an explosion of flavors. Bitter radicchio, sweet-tart zibibbo raisins soaked in balsamic vinegar, umami-rich prosciutto and Vacche Rosse cheese, and intensely aromatic hazelnuts make for a delicious combination. The red wine vinegar in the dressing tones down any excess bitterness of the radicchio, mellowing out its flavor. Serve on its own as a first course, or as a vegetable side. Whatever you do, be sure to provide some bread for the inevitable scarpetta.
You can use any variety of radicchio for this salad. We chose chioggia, but treviso, castelfranco, or a combination of all three would be beautiful.
TIME: 15 minutes, plus 4-6 hours to macerate the raisins
- Radicchio, 3-4 heads
- Valpolicella Red Wine Vinegar, 1 tbsp
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tbsp, plus extra for drizzling
- Sea Salt, a pinch
- Prosciutto crudo, 8-10 slices
- Tonda Gentile Hazelnuts, one handful, roughly chopped
- Zibibbo Raisins, one handful
- Balsamic 6, enough to cover the raisins
- Vacche Rosse Cheese, 1/3 cup, very finely grated
- Four to six hours ahead of time, place the zibibbo raisins in a small bowl or jar and cover with the balsamic vinegar.
- When you’re ready to assemble the salad, strain the raisins and set aside. In a large bowl, make a dressing with the raisin soaking liquid (you likely won’t need all of it), the olive oil, the red wine vinegar and the salt, adjusting the proportions to taste. Remove the outermost leaves from the radicchio and discard. Tear the remaining leaves into bite-sized pieces directly into the dressing and toss to combine.
- Tip the lettuce onto a large serving platter and arrange in a single layer. Roughly tear the slices of prosciutto and arrange around and over the radicchio.
- Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts, macerated zibibbo raisins, and grated cheese over the top. Finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.