One way to subvert the usual lettuce narrative is to do something wholly unexpected with it, as in the baked lettuce and onion tart we shared with you yesterday. Another way is to expand the idea of lettuce itself — as in this crisp, bitter chicory salad from the bright minds behind Bar Tartine in San Francisco.
Chicories are bitter greens with a more assertive bite than sweet and tender garden greens, but that bitterness means they stand up well to a strong dressing. And, as the authors say, "underneath their bite is a sweetness that begs for layers of acid, salt, and spice."
Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla, the chefs and authors behind Bar Tartine, explain the origins of this salad. "This is one of our favorite salads to make at home, and we consider it a meal in itself. Since neither of us is very good at cooking for two, the first time we made it at home, we made enough for ten and ate it out of an 18-qt/17-L Dutch oven, as that was the only container on hand big enough for mixing the greens." Fortunately they've scaled it down here to something more reasonable for a home cook, and that's very good, as this is a salad worth making over and over again.
If you like Caesar salad, like real Caesar salad with plenty of anchovies and garlic, then this is the salad for you! The dressing can be made ahead of time, and it flavors the bitter chicories and hearty radishes quite nicely. This is also a great make-ahead salad, as all the vegetables won't wilt quickly and can actually benefit from sitting in the dressing a bit to mellow out.
This recipe makes a lot! It makes a very large, dinner-sized salad for 4 to 6, or you could serve it as a side salad at a larger dinner party for 8 to 10 people.
- Christine, June 2015
Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing
For the anchovy dressing:
7 tablespoons (100 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fermented honey, or honey
18 oil-packed anchovy fillets, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (115 g) freshly grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Piave Vecchio cheese
3/4 cup (180 ml) unfiltered sunflower oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoons Hatch chile powder or spicy red paprika powder
1 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
For the salad:
1 fennel bulb, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 kohlrabies or small daikon radishes, peeled and cut into thin half-moons
1 bunch green onions, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced 1/4 in/6 mm thick
1/2 bunch fresh dill, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Fresh horseradish for garnish
To make the anchovy dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, fish sauce, vinegar, honey, anchovies, garlic, Parmesan, sunflower oil, salt, pepper, chile powder, and horseradish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Shake well before using.
To make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the chicories, fennel, radishes, kohlrabies, green onions, dill, and parsley. Add the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Finely grate the horseradish over the salad and serve.
→ Check out the book! Bar Tartine by Cortney Burns, Nicolaus Balla, and Chad Robertson
Reprinted with permission from Bar Tartine by Cortney Burns, Nicolaus Balla, and Chad Robertson, copyright © 2014. Published by Chronicle Books.