Radicchio Salad with Charred Onion, Pawpaw, and Bacon Vinaigrette
The Dabney, Washington, D.C.
- 1 pound bacon, cut into lardons
- 4 medium to large shallots, minced
- 1/2 head of garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fennel pollen
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Dash of salt
For the dish:
- 2 heads red radicchio
- 1 red onion
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- 2 pawpaws (pear can be used if pawpaw is unavailable)
- 1/2 cup Champagne–Bacon Vinaigrette
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 2 ounces Pecorino cheese
Make the bacon vinaigrette: set a cast‐iron pan over medium‐high. Add the bacon lardons and render until crispy—reserve the fat.
In a separate large pan set over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic. Sweat until they are totally soft and starting to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Pour the reserved bacon fat on top of shallots and garlic. Whisk in the vinegar, oil, honey, and fennel pollen. Season to taste with the lemon juice and salt.
Cut radicchio into quarters, remove and discard outer leaves. Separate inner leaves individually and wash them. Spin dry in salad spinner.
Slice red onion into rings about 1/2‐inch thick. Dress the onions with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. On a grill pan on your stove top (or outside on a grill), char the onions on low heat for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. They should become tender and have a blackened char on the outside. Remove onions and let cool.
Split the pawpaws down the middle and scoop out seeds. Using a spoon, scoop out the pawpaw into tablespoon‐sized pieces and add to a small mixing bowl. Add the Dijon mustard and mix until the pawpaw is coated.
Evenly divide the pawpaw and charred onions amongst 4 plates. Dress the radicchio with the Champagne–Bacon Vinaigrette, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then stack the radicchio leaves on top of the pawpaw and onions. Finally, lightly grate the Pecorino over each dish and finish with chopped chives.