Years ago, when I was interviewing one of those “let-the-ingredient-speak-for-itself” chefs on a book tour, she launched into a stern lecture as we were eating a salad.
Chicories’ strong, slightly bitter-tasting leaves have interesting characteristics on their own, but they do even better as a vehicle for everything from sharp blue cheese to salty soy sauce – the more umami, the better.
Curly endive, tangled frisee and thick, ribbed radicchio are just a few of the nuanced varieties of these cooler-weather salad greens, which are just hitting their peak now.
The accompanying recipe for a bold chicory salad is topped with other seasonal gems – crisp winter fruit, including juicy Asian pears and citrus, and toasted nuts.
Finished with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, the salad is an unusual combination that might work only with these greens.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
To make the vinaigrette, place the shallot, tamari, vinegar, mustard, syrup and oils in a tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously to combine.