Radicchio (or Red Cabbage) Salad with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

Lois Conley

1 cup walnut pieces
1 head of radicchio (about 2/3 lb.) or small head of red cabbage
1 cup seedless red grapes
1/2 medium red onion
4 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Toast walnut pieces. Cut radicchio or cabbage into thin strips (I use food processor slicer). Slice onion very thin (again I use food processor slicer and feed the onion vertically so it cuts it into small pieces). Add grapes (I add them whole), walnut pieces, and blue cheese. Mix olive oil and vinegar and pour over salad and toss. I skip the salt; I figure the blue cheese is salty enough. I didn't even add the pepper when I did use cabbage, and radicchio is a little bitter so it doesn't need any more bite.

The original recipe called for arranging the cabbage on plate and topping with the walnuts, grapes, and the onions cut into thin half moons - and a cup of raw corn kernels and 2 medium radishes slivered - and then topped with the blue cheese; this did not appeal to me. It also called for putting the oil, vinegar, 2 MORE oz. of blue cheese, the salt and pepper into a blender and pulsing until "mostly smooth," and dressing the plates of salad with the result. I thought this was overgilding the lily.

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May 2005

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