Monday, January 5, 2009

A radicc-al salad option

Experts extol the virtues of the colorful fruits and vegetables. The folks at Royal Rose Radicchio have a snappy salad idea.

Radicchio, Spinach & Pear Salad

Makes 8 servings 1/2 head radicchio, cored and chopped

1 10-oz. bag fresh spinach leaves, chopped
3 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola (or other creamy blue cheese)
1/2 cup caramelized pecans* (or chopped pecans)

Combine chopped radicchio, spinach leaves, sliced Bartlett pear and red onion in a bowl. In small saucepan, heat vinegar and oil gently over medium heat until hot; immediately pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly dressed. Season with salt and pepper, top with crumbled Gorgonzola and caramelized pecans and serve at once.

Caramelized Pecans:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted

Lightly grease a rimmed cookie sheet. Set aside. In a small saucepan bring sugar and water to a boil. Increase heat to medium-high and cook syrup without stirring until mixture turns golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in pecans, and then spread pecans in a single layer on prepared sheet. Let stand until cool, then break into small pieces. Makes 1 cup. Store covered at room temperature.
*To toast nuts, place on a shallow baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes, until fragrant.