Winter Chicory Salad with Pickled Blueberries, Candied Walnuts & Blue Cheese
For the Dressing
2-3 strips of orange zest, taken with a vegetable peeler then sliced into small matchsticks
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A big pinch of salt
A few grinds of black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 ounces finely crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients except the cheese and whisk together or shake vigorously in a lidded jar. Add the crumbled blue cheese and whisk or shake to incorporate into the dressing. Season to taste with salt.
For the Candied Walnuts
1 ½ tablespoons butter (or olive or coconut oil)
⅓ cup walnuts, slightly chopped
¾ teaspoons coriander seed, roughly ground
2 teaspoons honey
Salt & black pepper
Heat butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Once nearly melted, add the walnuts. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until the walnuts are becoming fragrant and lightly toasted. Add the coriander seed and cook for 1 more minute until fragrant. Add the honey, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Give everything a stir and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a plate and let cool for at least 10 minutes to set.
For the Croutons
Thinly sliced sourdough (sliced lengthwise on the diagonal, if desired)
Preheat your oven to 375º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the slices of sourdough with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once, or until the bread is crispy like a crouton. If you didn’t cut them before, you can break them into irregular pieces now.
For the Salad
12 ounces (roughly 1-2 heads) mixed chicories (radicchio, treviso, luisa, castelfranco, etc.)
1 watermelon radish, peeled and very thinly sliced or shaved on a mandoline
⅓ cup pickled blueberries, drained from their liquid (save it for dressings!!!)
⅓ cup mixed herbs (dill, parsley, tarragon, etc)
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Cut the chicories into quarters or eighths and slice the stem end off the bottom to free the leaves. Break the leaves apart from each other into a large bowl. Add the shaved radish, most of the pickled blueberries (reserve a few spoonfuls for topping), herbs, half of the candied walnuts, and a pinch of flaky salt. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing, and toss to combine. Garnish with the rest of the pickled blueberries, candied walnuts, any additional herbs, and the croutons. Top with additional blue cheese if using. Enjoy!