This Radicchio Endive Salad is perfect. It is easy, delicious, healthy, and so pretty to look at!
I am always in search of the perfect salad. But my idea of this perfect salad changes based on who I ‘m feeding, what I’m feeling, and what ingredients are fresh at the time. I guess that’s why I’m always chasing this perfection…
A few things remain constant in my salad game. I need to have several different textures in my salad. I need crunch and I need creamy and I need things with bite and I need things that are soft. Yes, I can be a ball-buster when it comes to my salads…
I also need several different types of flavors. I need something slightly bitter. And something sweet. Well… you get the picture. I need a variety of tastes and textures (I guess I could have just said that up front…).
Radicchio is one of my favorite ingredients. I love the bitter taste and the crisp feel of these leaves. I love that they are hearty enough to stand up to a grill — if you’ve never tried grilled radicchio you are really missing out one of life’s pleasures — and I love that its freshness comes through in whatever type of salad you add it to. Oh, and did I mention that this salad has blood oranges in it? Well, just imagine the tartness of the radicchio alongside the sweet-tart deliciousness of blood orange segments… yum!
When I was in Lake Como, years ago, one of my favorite meals was a grilled veal chopped topped with grilled radicchio and artichokes. OMG… orgasmic. To this day, anytime I can get my hands on a grill and some veal chops, I make this dish and it takes me back to Italia.
But I digress. Today, I’m using radicchio in this deliciously simple salad. Sometimes I call this my Christmas salad because of all of the beautiful reds and greens, but really, I love it most in the warmer months next to a piece of fish or grilled chicken. It’s perfect.
By the way, if you are looking to add more greens to your diet — and you should be — please download my free ebook here.
Eating your greens is imperative for your health, that’s why I go on salad kicks every now and then. And, if you know me at all, you know that I am not a plain salad lover. I need my salads to be fully loaded, and this Radicchio Endive Salad, although simple, is anything but plain.
Her are some of the amazing healing ingredients in this Radicchio Endive Salad:
Radicchio is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. These are great for your heart and for your digestive system. Research has also show that this gorgeous lettuce may be good at regulating blood sugar and strengthening bones.
Endive is a nutrient-dense vegetable that’s filled with vitamins and minerals. It’s good for your heart and it contains a flavonoid called kaempferol that’s been shown to help fight certain types of cancer.
Blood Oranges are oranges with extra anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are compounds found in many plant-based foods. These compounds can help prevent certain cancers and can help with brain function. Oranges, of any kind, will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the orange rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.
Pomegranate seeds nourish the blood. In Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions are caused by the body making poor quality blood. Pomegranate seeds are great at helping the body make good quality blood. They are also good to combat diarrhea, anemia and incontinence.
Research shows that pumpkin seeds may reduce blood sugar and increase bone density. And, because they are rich in iron, they are good if you are tired or have anemia. In Asian medicine, pumpkin seeds are sometimes used to get rid of intestinal parasites and to decrease inflammation in the body.
Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.
Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations, constipation, and hot flashes due to menopause.
- 3 heads Belgian endive, quarter lengthwise
- 1 head radicchio, sliced or leaves separated
- 1 blood orange, peeled and separated into segments, or cut up into pieces
- ¼ c pomegranate seeds
- 2 Tbs pumpkin seeds
- ¼ c raw macadamia nuts
- 4 lge basil leaves, julienned
- 1 avocado, sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese, optional
- For dressing:
- ½ med shallot, minced
- 2 Tbs white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp pure maple syrup ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of ½ lemon
- Toss all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Make the dressing: combine all ingredients in a blender or whisk by hand until well combined.
- Toss the salad with as much dressing as you like.