Radicchio Zuccherino Salad
Insalata di Radicchio Zuccherino

serves: 4 servings

6 cups raddichio or other young, mildly bitter greens, such as chicory, frisee, or mache
2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mild red-wine vinegar


Pick over the greens, discarding any wilted or yellow leaves. Wash and dry the greens as follows: Fill a clean sink with cool water, dump in the greens, and swish them gently in the water. Wait a few minutes to give the dirt a chance to settle to the bottom of the sink, then lift the greens to a bowl with a wire skimmer or your hands, letting as much of the water as possible drain back into the sink. Refill the sink and repeat the swishing. Drain again. Remove as much water from the greens as possible by spinning them in a salad spinner or shaking as much water from them as possible. Store them in the refrigerator in a colander over a bowl, covered with a kitchen towel. If you don't have a salad spinner, toss the greens gently in a large kitchen towel just before you dress them. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Rub a salad bowl with the garlic. Either discard the garlic or, for a more pronounced garlic flavor, cut it in a few big pieces which can be spotted easily and fished out of the salad. Add the greens and the garlic, if using, to the bowl. Season with the salt and pepper, then drizzle enough olive oil over the greens to barely coat them. Toss gently, but well. Sprinkle the vinegar very lightly over the salad, using about one fourth the amount of olive oil you used. Taste and add another light sprinkle of vinegar if you like. Check the seasonings and serve immediately.