Radicchio, Apple & Fennel Salad with Ginger & Date Vinaigrette

Radicchio, Apple & Fennel Salad with Ginger & Date Vinaigrette

For the Ginger & Date Vinaigrette 

3 dates, minced 
¼ cup olive oil, divided
½ shallot, minced 
¾ teaspoon grated ginger 
3 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar 
½ teaspoon toasted & ground fennel seed (optional
Black pepper 

In a small saucepan or skillet, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the dates, and a pinch of salt, and warm over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes, just to soften the dates a bit. Meanwhile, combine the shallots, ginger, and sherry vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. Once the dates are warmed and have softened a bit, combine them with the vinegar mixture, along with the fennel seed, another pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisk everything together (the dates like to clump together, so just try to incorporate them as best as you can), and season to taste with additional salt and vinegar. Set aside, or make a day in advance and refrigerate until ready to use. 

For the Salad & Assembly

½ apple, sliced into very thin half moons 
1 small or ½ medium bulb fennel, thinly sliced 
4 ½ ounces (approx ½ medium head) radicchio leaves, torn 
Handful of herbs (we like parsley and mint here) 
¼ cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped 
Flaky salt 
Lemon juice 
Shaved or crumbled cheese, such as manchego or a mild blue cheese (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the apple and fennel with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside while you prep the additional ingredients. Combine the radicchio with the apple and fennel mixture, add the herbs, pistachios, and a pinch of flaky salt. Spoon some of the vinaigrette over everything and toss well to combine (the dates sometimes like to clump together, so we recommend dressing the salad with your hands so you can really get everything nicely mixed together). Mix in the cheese, if using, and adjust to taste with lemon juice and salt. Enjoy!

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