Radicchio belongs to the family of chicory. Sweet and bitter at the same time, it is delicious in salads, braised alone, in risotto, and for making pasta sauces. On my recent trip to the Salinas Valley in California, I was astounded to see how radicchio prospered and how much of it was being produced. The Royal Rose Company was founded by Lucio Gomiero and Carlo Boscolo in 1993, Italians from the Veneto. The family moved to California to run the family company, another transplanted Italian custom that is growing and doing well in America.
This quick salad delivers a lot of flavor. The radicchio has a touch of bitterness, but the raisins bring the sweet element, and the goat cheese the creamy complexity. It is a great appetizer, or can be a main course.
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 pounds radicchio, cut in 1-inch shreds
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound fresh goat cheese (or Gorgonzola—dolce, or sweet, is best)
Put the raisins in a small bowl and pour the vinegar over them. Let soak for 15 minutes.
Pour the raisins and vinegar over the shredded radicchio in a large serving bowl.
Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt.
Toss well to coat the salad with the dressing.
Crumble the goat cheese into chunks over the salad and gently toss again to distribute the cheese, taking care to keep it in chunks.