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Radicchio: Where Have You Been All My Life?

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When I was visiting my parents over Christmas, I made my latest rendition of orecchiette with sausage, Brussels sprouts and broccolini. (In short, sauté garlic, red pepper flakes and shallots in 3 TB olive oil for a couple minutes, then add broccolini and chopped brussels sprouts and sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Brown a mix of Italian sweet and spicy sausage – about 6 links, casings removed – in a separate pan, and toss everything with a healthy portion of orecchiette pasta. Top with freshly grated Pecorino and serve immediately). While everyone loved the pasta, my mom’s radicchio and mixed green salad really added some brightness the meal. And it got me thinking, why don’t I use more radicchio?

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My new favorite pasta dish. I’m obsessed with Brussels sprouts.

Well, since then I have been putting radicchio is almost all my salads. I love the bitter, spicy flavor, but also the color that it brings to any salad. You can mix it with spinach, kale, arugula, or any combination of mixed greens and it will bring the salad to the next level. Lately I have been adding nuts and other crunchy vegetables and tossing with a citrus vinaigrette, then topping with some protein. It makes for a great light meal without cutting the flavor.

Radicchio Salad with Grilled Mahi Mahi (serves 2)

  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 4 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 small Mahi Mahi filets
  • 1/2 head radicchio, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 TB Safflower oil

In a small dish, combine orange zest, sage, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over each side of Mahi Mahi filets and let sit for about 10 minutes. In a separate small dish, combine lemon, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine radicchio, arugula, radishes, avocado, and almonds, and set aside.

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Heat safflower oil a large nonstick pan over a medium flame. Add garlic clove and sauté for about as minute to infuse oil. Cook Mahi Mahi for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned and opaque in the middle.

Add vinaigrette to the salad and toss to combine. Serve in large shallow bowls and top with a filet of Mahi Mahi.

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This dish is light and healthy, but bursts with flavors of citrus and spice. Pair with crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Viognier. If you’re hankering for a red wine, this dish would also pair nicely with an Oregon Pinot Noir. To make this meal a little more hearty, try topping with grilled sirloin or roasted duck breast.

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

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