February 22, 2013

spicy red salad

Only recently did I start to discover a variety of leafy greens that nature offers. Rich in calcium, iron and a variety of vitamins, available at this dull season, with countless methods of preparing, be it cooked, sauteed or raw, even, they make a really great addition to my menu. But on my last trip to the groceries, drawn by the vivid color, I picked up radicchio, which I've never had before. It has a really surprising, intense, slightly pepper-y taste.

If you want to replace it with some other leafy veggie, like spinach or iceberg salad, you may want to add a generous pitch of pepper to the dressing, and maybe increase the amount of onions added, to keep the warming-up sensation this salad gives.

It seems to be an excellent choice for a day like today: snowy, grey, with hardly any sunlight. Even the colors cheer you up.

Spicy Red Salad:
(serves 1, can be easily multiplied)

for the salad:
4 leaves radicchio
1/3 red bell pepper
handful cherry tomatoes 
1 slice white onion
3-4 slices hot peperoncino, optional
a couple slices shallot, white part, optional 

+ for dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3-4 fresh sage leaves
splash lemon juice, salt to taste

Wash all the veggies, cut radicchio and pepper in thin strips, half tomatoes, separate onion rings. Place the leaves in a bowl, top with pepper and tomatoes. 
Mix olive oil with the vinegar, add chopped sage and salt. Drizzle the salad. 
Chop shallot and peperoncino - or leave them in thin slices, which will give a spicier taste. Put on top of the salad. 
Finish with a splash of lemon juice or additional pitch of salt, according to taste preferences. 

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