Recipes

Carrot and Radicchio Salad

You won’t need to push aside filler ingredients to get to more consequential components in this salad, inspired by a dish from Max and Eli Sussman’s book Classic Recipes for Modern People. It starts with sweet carrots that are steam-roasted in the oven with a bit of water (this is the secret to incomparably tender carrots). Then it gets piles of raw and roasted ribbons of radicchio, a big boy–size handful of pistachios, and a tart fig dressing that reminds you that you can have a fruity dressing without it being...fruity. You could stab recklessly into this thing, blindfolded, and still get a perfect bite. How many other salads would you want to eat with your eyes closed?

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds multicolored carrots, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium to large head radicchio
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

Fig-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup diced fresh figs or 2 large dried figs, stemmed
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced

Method

Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the olive oil, season with a large pinch of salt, and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the water over the carrots. Roast until the carrots have just started to brown and crisp on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, core and coarsely chop the radicchio and place half of the chopped leaves in a large salad bowl.

When the carrots are 5 minutes from being done, scatter the remaining radicchio on top of them so it wilts and begins to brown in spots.

To make the vinaigrette, if using fresh figs, in a large bowl, whisk together the figs, vinegar, water, a small pinch of salt, olive oil, and shallot. If using dried figs, blend the figs with the vinegar, water, and a small pinch of salt until smooth. With the blender running, gradually add the olive oil until emulsified. Whisk in the shallot.

Add the roasted carrots and radicchio to the salad bowl, drizzle with a bit of vinaigrette (you will not use it all, so start slow), and toss very gently to keep the carrots intact. Add the pistachios and toss again. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and add more dressing if the salad looks dry. Serve warm or at room temp.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Mighty Salads: 60 New Ways to Turn Salad Into Dinner by the editors of Food52, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Yield

Serves 4