Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Sang An

Every now and then I like a salad with attitude. This one has it, with its mix of assertive, crunchy radicchio, pungent anchovy-lemon dressing, and crispy croutons. Serve it with a rich main course such as Vegetable-Stuffed Pasta Shells or Crêpe Cannelloni with Mushrooms and Zucchini.

  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 4 Rizzoli-brand alici in salsa piccante or best-quality imported Italian or Spanish anchovy fillets in olive oil, coarsely chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the oil
  • 1 tbsp smooth dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup (75 to 120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head radicchio di chioggia (8 oz/225 g), torn into large pieces
  • 1 head radicchio di castelfranco (8 oz/225 g), curly endive, or frisée, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cups (60 g) bread croutons (see Cook's Note)

In a small bowl, mix together the salt and garlic to form a paste. Whisk in the anchovies and 1 tbsp of their oil, and then whisk in the mustard, mayon¬naise, and Worcestershire sauce. Whisk in the lemon juice. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing is thick and emulsified.

Place the radicchios in a large bowl and toss together. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. Sprinkle the cheese on top and toss again. Transfer the salad to a decorative bowl and top with the croutons. Serve immediately.

COOK'S NOTE: To make bread croutons, spread 2 cups (60 g) cubed Italian country bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle 1 to 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over them. Toss well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, if you like, and toss again. Spread the bread cubes out in a single layer. Bake at 400°F/200°C/gas 6 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are evenly browned and crisp. Let cool before using.

Reprinted from The Glorious Vegetables of Italy, Chronicle Books (2013).

Yield: 
Makes 6 to 8 servings
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