If you only know radicchio from its supporting role as the Red One in the ubiquitous tricolore salad served in Italian restaurants, you don’t know radicchio. The crisp and bitter chicory, first cultivated in the Veneto region of Italy, where varieties are named after towns of origin, can play the lead too. Chef Garrett Eagleton at the Beagle in the East Village gives the sturdy winter vegetable a star turn in this invigorating salad with assists from some peekytoe crab and a zingy lemon-cream dressing.
Garrett Eagleton’s Radicchio Salad
1 shallot, diced
1 tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Fennel pollen to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 head Chioggia or Rossa di Verona radicchio
1 medium celery root, julienned
8 chives, cut into batons
2 ounces hazelnuts, chopped
6 ounces peekytoe crab, picked
In a bowl, combine the shallot, oregano, lemon juice, and cream. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and fennel pollen. Whisk until thickened. Slowly whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Peel the wilted outer leaves off the radicchio and discard. (1) Halve and then quarter the radicchio, cutting through the core. (2) Remove core. (3) Slice radicchio quarters lengthwise and then crosswise for a large dice. In a salad bowl, combine the radicchio, celery root, chives, hazelnuts, and crab, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Dress liberally with the lemon-cream mixture and toss. Serves 4.