During the winter and early spring months, I’m all about getting as much citrus as I can. It’s probably because it’s the perfect bright spot in the sea of potatoes, onions, and parsnips that I usually see this time of year.
This recipe makes the most of citrus by using the segments as a component of the salad and the juice as the base of a simple vinaigrette. Radicchio adds a nice bitterness and deep reddish-purple color, while a bit of arugula lends a peppery bite.
Homemade rustic croutons, toasted walnuts, and crumbled feta cheese join forces with the rest of the ingredients to create the perfect salad for a respite from the winter blues. But the good news is, this salad tastes great any time of year!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CROUTONS
Yes, you could just buy pre-made croutons from the store, but making them at home is almost just as easy.
To make rustic homemade croutons, start with some good bread (I opted for sourdough). Here’s what to do:
- Tear the bread into little chunks
- Toss them on a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle the bread with a little salt.
- Bake them in the oven until nice and toasted. Voila!
TAKE THE TIME TO TOAST THE NUTS!
It’s so worth the effort to toast your nuts. The main reason is that doing so draws out some of their oils, giving them an even nuttier taste. And then there’s the added benefit of imparting a richer color for prettier final results and making them crunchier for extra texture. Win-win-win.
SUGGESTIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
I used grapefruit, oranges, and lemons when making this recipe, but almost any type of citrus would work. If you only use sour fruit, I’d recommend adding a tablespoon or so of honey to the vinaigrette for a touch of sweetness to help balance out the bitterness of the radicchio.
In terms of the other ingredients, feel free to use goat cheese instead of feta, swap out the chopped walnuts for almonds, or use watercress or spinach instead of arugula. The great thing about salads is that they’re mostly just blueprints that you can customize however you want.
MAKE IT A MEAL!
In developing and taking photos of this recipe, I’ve been eating a lot of salad. Though the homemade croutons do give it a little heft, this recipe likely won’t fill you up. So, if you’re looking to make it a meal, try adding a protein such as cannellini beans, roasted tofu, diced chicken breast, or a few shrimp.
MORE GREAT SALAD RECIPES
Radicchio Salad with Citrus Recipe
For this recipe, any variety of citrus will work—you just need about two cups total of whatever you have on hand. It’s best to supreme the citrus, which means to trim the peel off the citrus, then cut the individual segments of fruit from the inner membrane.
- 3 slices (about 2 cups) sourdough bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 citrus fruits, like orange, lemon, and/or grapefruit
- 1 small head radicchio (about 4 cups), cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 Make the croutons: Heat the oven to 350˚F. Place the bread pieces on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and bake, tossing the bread on the baking sheet partway through, until golden and crunchy, about 15 minutes; let cool.
2 Toast the nuts: While the croutons are in the oven, toast the nuts in a medium-sized skillet set over medium heat on the stovetop until fragrant and toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Stay near the pan, and stir the nuts occasionally. They can go from toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds. Let cool.
3 Peel and segment (a.k.a. supreme) the citrus : For each fruit, cut about an inch off the top and bottom just so some of the flesh is exposed. Set the fruit with the cut-side down on a cutting board.
Start at the top, and slice down the side of the fruit with a sharp knife, cutting away the peel and the pith, exposing the flesh. Then carefully cut out the citrus segments over a bowl to collect the juice. You should have about 1 cup of citrus segments.
4 Squeeze the juice: Once all of the segments have been removed, squeeze the juice from what's left of the fruit into the same bowl. Drain the juice from the segments and keep separate.
5 Make the citrus vinaigrette: In a mason jar or small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the reserved citrus juice with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Secure the lid if using a jar, and shake vigorously for a few seconds until emulsified. If using a bowl, whisk the ingredients together.
6 Assemble the salad: Add the radicchio and arugula to a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss until evenly coated. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper to suit your preferences. Add the croutons, walnuts, citrus segments, and feta cheese, and toss until evenly combined.
7 To serve: Transfer to a large serving bowl for family-style eating, or divide among individual bowls for serving.
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