This bitter, peppery salad with its pop of bright, refreshing citrus will satisfy your craving for sunshine. Radicchio makes this colorful salad feel fresh, while quick homemade croutons and toasted walnuts settle your need for comfort food.
During the winter and early spring months, I?m all about getting as much citrus as I can. It?s probably because it?s the perfect bright spot in the sea of potatoes, onions, and parsnips that I usually see this time of year.
This recipe makes the most of citrus by using the segments as a component of the salad and the juice as the base of a simple vinaigrette. Radicchio adds a nice bitterness and deep reddish-purple color, while a bit of arugula lends a peppery bite.
Homemade rustic croutons, toasted walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese join forces with the rest of the ingredients to create the perfect salad for a respite from the winter blues. But the good news is, this salad tastes great any time of year!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CROUTONS
Yes, you could just buy pre-made croutons from the store, but making them at home is almost just as easy.
To make rustic homemade croutons, start with some good bread (I opted for sourdough). Here?s what to do:
- Tear the bread into little chunks
- Toss them on a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle the bread with a little salt.?
- Bake them in the oven until nice and toasted. Voila!
TAKE THE TIME TO TOAST THE NUTS!
It?s so worth the effort to toast your nuts. The main reason is that doing so draws out some of their oils, giving them an even nuttier taste. And then there?s the added benefit of imparting a richer color for prettier final results and making them crunchier for extra texture. Win-win-win.
SUGGESTIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
I used grapefruit, oranges, and lemons when making this recipe, but almost any type of citrus would work.?If you only use sour fruit, I?d recommend adding a tablespoon or so of honey to the vinaigrette for a touch of sweetness to help balance out the bitterness of the radicchio.
In terms of the other ingredients, feel free to use goat cheese instead of feta, swap out the chopped walnuts for almonds, or use watercress or spinach instead of arugula. The great thing about salads is that they?re mostly just blueprints that you can customize however you want.
MAKE IT A MEAL!
In developing and taking photos of this recipe, I?ve been eating a lot of salad.?Though the homemade croutons do give it a little heft, this recipe likely won?t fill you up.?So, if you?re looking to make it a meal, try adding a protein such as?cannellini beans, roasted tofu, diced?chicken breast, or a few shrimp.