This amazingly tasty radicchio, fennel and apple salad is perfect for each season! Of all the variations on this theme, the combination of rocket, fennel and apple has always been my family’s favorite one. Radicchio remains the backbone of the bowl. It features in 2 forms: the speckled Rosa di Castelfranco, with its ample, buttery leaves, and the small but mighty wild radicchio – poignant, multi-colored and piercingly astringent. On the flavor front, rocket adds heat, while the apple adds sugar. Finally, fennel gives snap, structure, and crunch, and a vague spiced sweetness that is at ease with the bitter base of the leaves. Try the following recipe:
- 1 small head of round radicchio
- 2 small bunches of green or red baby wild radicchio (grumolo), or simply use green endive and red endive
- 3 ½ oz/90 g rocket
- 5 ¼ /155 g/ 1 small fenner
- 1 small snappy apple, thinly sliced
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamico vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut off the roots of the radicchio, wash the leaves thoroughly and spin dry in a salad spinner. Break the leaves roughly and place them into a large bowl. Do the same with the rocket, but keep the leaves whole.
- Wash the fennel and discard the outer layer if it’s tough or blemished. Trim the tops, reserving the green fronds for later.
- Using a very sharp knife or mandolin, slice it very thinly. Place in a small bowl tougher with the apple slices, squeeze some lemon juice on them and toss to coat (this will make sure they stay white). Scatter over the salad leaves and set aside.
- Whisk the oil with vinegar and a couple of pinches of salt. Pour it over the salad and toss until evenly seasoned. Top with a few fennel fronds and serve.