Colorful Take on a Valentine’s Day Salad

I’m typically not a sweets person. I can or will have a bite of a sweet treat – usually to please someone else. I much prefer savory and salty eats. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I will piggy back on Amy Chaplin’s idea of having a non-sweet Valentine’s Day recipe. I love radicchio, not only is it delicious, it plates incredibly gorgeously. Add in the pomegranate seeds for texture and have a component of your meal that is well remembered!

In this salad the radicchio is roasted, and its bitter flavor is balanced by a reduced balsamic dressing and a generous sprinkle of nutty Parmesan cheese, plus some plump, juicy pomegranate seeds to finish it off. Besides being super-tasty and pretty to look at with its deep purple, pink and red colors, this salad is a snap to put together — although you wouldn’t know it from the impressive flavor combination.

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Roasted Radicchio Valentine’s Salad

Here the balsamic vinegar is reduced to create the consistency of a good aged balsamic and to concentrate the flavor. If you have some aged balsamic that’s thick and syrupy, then you can use 2 tablespoons of it in place of the reduced vinegar.

Serves 4

For the roasted radicchio
2 medium radicchio
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

For the dressing
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

For the salad
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Black pepper

Roast the radicchio:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Cut each radicchio in half from top to bottom. Cut each half into 3 wedges and lay on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper, and gently toss to coat in oil. Roast for 25 minutes or until browning. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the dressing:
Add balsamic vinegar to a small skillet over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until vinegar has thickened and reduced to 2 tablespoons. Pour into a small bowl and whisk in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Assemble the salad:
Place 3 wedges of roasted radicchio on each of 4 plates. Divide Parmesan and pomegranate seeds over the radicchio and drizzle each salad with a tablespoon of dressing. Top with cracked pepper and serve.

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen came out this fall. She blogs at amychaplin.com.