Some things are too good to leave in your past– this Radicchio, Goat Cheese, Balsamic, and Blueberry Salad is one of them. (It was even haunting me writing about chocolate in Oregon last year!)
Working at Greenwich Village’s Gottino a few years back, this salad frequented the seasonal menu every season, simply because if it was off for more than a few days the locals would throw a riot, glasses of Primitivo flying and wine-stained teeth murmuring sweet atrocities.
I, too, was happier when the salad was servable, albeit my version of the salad had to be modified as the original was made with pine nuts. Instead of the allergen, I add blueberries to contribute some extra sweetness to the dish, and another texture component.
Fast-forward years later, and I am still eating this savory/kind of sweet salad brunch, day, night, whenever. It’s so simple to make, free of all allergens (nuts, soy, egg, corn, gluten, etc) and light in lactose, as goat’s cheese is easier to digest for those with milk sensitivities.
1 head radicchio (bitter small red cabbage), shaved into thin pieces
2 tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar (the richer, the better-tasting in this dish; you want it to add sweetness)
1 1/2 tbs. olive oil or neutral oil (avoid vegetable oil)
~1/4 tsp. sea salt (fleur de sel)
ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup blueberries (dried for a more intense contrast, fresh for something more subtle)
Preparation time: 2 minutes
1. In medium salad mixing bowl, add shaved radicchio (use a large chef’s knife or a mandolin), vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Along the side of the bowl, add goat cheese, and using a knife, gradually incorporate the pieces of radicchio into the creamy cheese until every piece is coated with some goat cheese, oil, and vinegar. This should look almost like a coleslaw. Taste it, and if it is too bitter, add more cheese. If it tastes too “plain” (ie like cheese or oil or lettuce) add more vinegar. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
3. Fold in blueberries until just combined, and serve in a vertical mound on a wide bowl for something fancy and luscious.