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.
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).
Richard Wrangham, a professor at Harvard University and author of Catching Fire, studies the role of cooking in human evolution. "Once you start thinking about the importance of cooking -- its supply of energy, its strange distribution compared to natural foods -- it's bound to have affected our evolution hugely, our behavior, our society, our cognition, all sorts of features about us," he says.