Radicchio Autumn Salad
1 head Red Dog castelfranco radicchio, core removed and leaves roughly torn
1 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup almonds, coarsely chopped or sliced
Sea salt, to taste
5 ripe figs, stems removed
1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3.5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/2 pear, cored and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
1.5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into small strips
1.5 ounces good-quality blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
1 tablespoons sliced mint
1/2 tablespoon Red Dog Italian parsley, chopped
To make honeyed almonds: In a small skillet, toast almonds until they just start to color, then add 1 tablespoon honey and a pinch of sea salt. Stir frequently over moderate heat until almonds are golden and coated with honey, about 4 minutes. Take off the heat, and on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, spread the almonds in an even layer. When cool, break into small pieces.
To make fig vinaigrette: Cut 1 fig in half, then pound to a coarse puree using a mortar and pestle. You should have about 1 tablespoon of fig puree. Transfer the puree to a small bowl, then add the minced shallot, balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste for seasoning and balance.
To assemble salad: In a large bowl, toss together radicchio, the remaining 4 figs (halved or quartered depending on size), apple, pear, and prosciutto.
Drizzle in the vinaigrette a little at a time and gently toss. Sprinkle in some sea salt, then add more vinaigrette if needed. (You probably won’t need the full amount – store any leftover vinaigrette in the fridge.)
If using blue cheese, add it now and gently toss once more. Arrange the salad on a large platter, then scatter the honeyed almonds, mint and parsley over the top.