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You guys. Salad. Salad!!
For some reason I don’t eat salads very often. I LOVE them, and I think they are so amazing, but I rarely eat them!
I think maybe it’s because I’m too lazy to make one for lunch, and for dinner we usually do something fancier and a bit more involved because AJ has salad (not a salad, just salad – he eats spinach and kale plain, all by themselves!) every single day for lunch. And people call me a rabbit!
But I don’t care any more. Salad is on the menu every day from here on out. Especially if it has apples and radicchio in it.
I don’t know if the combination of apples and radicchio is really weird (is it totally weird?) but I am in love. For some reason this idea just popped into my head and I wasn’t sure if it would work. But for realz, it works.
I’m kind of just getting started with bitter foods. I have Jennifer McLagan’s excellent book, Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes. And let me tell you, this is an amazing and beautiful ode to all things bitter.
Bitter, available on Amazon
Sometimes I love bitterness. I made this radicchio and gorgonzola pasta one time, and it was delicious. But then there are other times when bitter flavors catch me off guard, and I feel all taken aback, like the beautiful food I just made has somehow betrayed me.
It’s said that we often learn to appreciate bitter foods more and more as we age because our tastebuds pick up fewer and fewer strong flavors, so I think I’m still just getting used to it.
As a result, I was kind of afraid to make this salad. I had this idea – apples and radicchio – but I wasn’t really sure how much I would like it. But it makes sense – sweet tartness to balance out those bitter overtones, with tons of crave-worthy crunch!
I threw it together for lunch yesterday, whipped up a quick apple cider vinaigrette, and dug in. And it was good.
Like, “I wished I had made double the amount” good.
The sweet-tart apples complemented the slight bite of the radicchio, and the tangy dressing was simple enough to let the other flavors shine through, but vinegary enough to make my taste buds tingle. I may or may not have licked the bowl after all the salad was gone, to make sure I got every last drop of dressing out…
We should also talk about apples for a moment. We’ve been getting them from a a local apple farm ten pounds at a time, and even though we have so many on hand, we still tend to just eat all of them raw before I can do anything with them in the kitchen. Because they are just so darned good.
This week’s varieties were Jonalicious and Golden Delicious – two of my favorites. Super crisp and sweet-tart. SO GOOD.
This Apple and Radicchio Salad perfectly balances sweet, tangy apples with the bitter bite of radicchio. It’s a delicious fall salad!
For the Salad:
- 1 small apple, cored and sliced
- 1 very small head radicchio (or more, to taste)
- 4 cups salad greens
- 2 Tbsp shelled sunflower seeds
- 3–4 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- fresh cracked black pepper
For the Dressing:
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- pinch salt
Pile up all the salad ingredients on two plates. Mix the dressing ingredients together with a fork, then drizzle over the salad immediately before serving. If you prefer, you may also combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss to coat with the dressing before serving.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: No-Cook
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: salad, fall, autumn, apple, chicory
Did it take you awhile to make the adjustment to loving bitterness? What’s your favorite way to feature fall apples in savory meals? Share your stories with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a rating when you try it!
And if you love fall salads, be sure to check out some of these variations:
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 21, 2015. Last updated: December 30, 2019 at 21:03 pm.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).