For Christmas my sister gave me Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat and oh boy. It has changed my cooking forever. I have become an absolute zealot about this book and the principles it teaches. One of the things it recommends is going into a fruit and veg shop, seeing what looks good, and thinking how you can balance Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat to make a tasty meal with what looks good. So last week, that’s just what I did.
The radicchio caught my eye, and then I remembered the most delicious salad I’ve ever had: in San Fransisco, I had a radicchio, orange and walnut salad. So that is what I decided to make. My local fruit and veg shop had some blood oranges on offer, so I went for them. And here’s what I did to make a simple and tasty salad.
Radicchio (or other bitter-ish leafy thing)
2x Blood Oranges
A Handful of Walnuts
Half a Small Red Onion
Red Wine Vinegar
Start with the blood oranges. Chop one of them in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Remove the pith and the skin from the other, and break into segments. Chop the segments into knuckle sized pieces. Set them aside in your salad bowl.
Next peel and really thinly chop your onion - you really can’t go too thin here, you want the flavour without the breath-pulverising nature of large slivers of red onion. Pop them in the blood orange juice to mascerate for a while.
Grab your radicchio. Remove the tougher outer leaves, and the tough stalk; chop in half and pick the leaves from the inside out. Chop up any bigger leaves to a manageable size. Pop them in with the blood orange segments.
Heat up a dry frying pan on a medium heat. While that’s getting hot, chop up your walnuts, then pop them in the pan and toast them a little. Chuck them in with your leaves and orange.
Now, return to your blood orange juice/thin onion mix. This is going to turn into a delicious dressing for your leaves. Add a couple of gloops of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Next, add a good blob of miso paste. Mix it all up and taste. Add salt/oil/a few drops of red wine vinegar depending on how the balance of salt/fat/acid is. Keep tasting and adjusting til it sings on your tongue.
Pour your dressing onto the leaves, orange and walnuts, then get your hands involved making sure the whole salad is mixed up and evenly coated.
Enjoy with a tasty bit of bread and butter (or a pitta, as I did).