Citrusy Spring Salad- With Warm Endive and Walnuts

Citrusy Spring Salad- With Warm Fennel and Walnuts

It’s that time of the year! My favorite time- when the flowers are starting to bloom (in NYC they are sprouting up everywhere!) and the weather is warm enough to lose your jacket. Ahhhh… feel the weight off your shoulders from this extremely cold (or what some people say is closer to “normal”) NYC winter.

I discovered this versatile salad when trying to decide what to do with the fennel, and an array of other greens that were sitting in my fridge from a couple weeks worth of Quinciple boxes (don’t judge me! I have a hard time using the greens and potatoes some weeks). So I of course typed in the key word, “fennel” into my online Cook’s Illustrated magazine. A wonderful recipe titled, “Radicchio and Watercress Salad with Warm Fennel and Walnut Dressing” popped up in the search window. Umm… YUM?! I tweaked the recipe a tiny bit because  hate anchovies {{GASP!}} and I had other greens that I wanted to use. So this recipe is the very first cousin to Cook’s Illustrated online magazine’s recipe. (I also own their giant text book which I use all the time! I cross reference other recipe directions with this book. It’s basically my cooking bible). I love this recipe because there is a ton of depth in the flavors. It is both citrusy and nutty, and the warmed dressing turns out just right. Not too vinegary or sour like some vinegar based dressings can (easily) be. I used Capirete Sherry Vinegar, which is delicious! It also pairs wonderfully with a crisp white Rioja (yes- WHITE RIOJA!) which I sipped as I moseyed around my kitchen last week making this salad. This Rioja in particular is Alberti 154 Torrentes Salta La Rioja 2011, compliments of Astor Wines delivery. You will not be upset with this wine. It is crisp and fresh, and will get you in the mood for spring! And salads! Win Win!

Side note: If you are interested, I have discussed the 12 (bottles of wine) under $12 home delivery from Astor Wines in a previous post.

Side note (I know… a lot of these today): Seriously, if you love home cooking… SUBSCRIBE to Cook’s Illustrated online magazine! It’s UHH-MAZING! #notpaid 

ANYWAYSSSS… This wonderfully diverse salad can be eaten as an appetizer, used as a side, or as the main dish. AND, because of the ingredients, it’s a salad that stays crunchy even after the dressing has been on for a day. Don’t get me wrong- it is definitely best when eaten right away, but I had left overs at work the next day, and I was pretty happy eating my lunch.

Here we go!


  • 1 Garlic clove (or 3 cloves if you’re Italian or LOVE garlic!)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 TBSP sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4-6 turns peppa mill
  • 1/3 cup EVOO plus extra
  • 1 cup red walnuts couresely chopped
  • 1 medium bulb fennel. Watch this video how to trim and cut fennel if you’re not sure.
  • 2 anchovy fillets minced (optional. You can use an extra pinch of salt if you omit these creatures)
  • 1 medium head radicchio
  • 2 cups leafy broccoli Rabe (the CI recipe calls for Watercress)
  • 1 cup mixed greens or spinach
  • 1 grapefruit cut into wedges
  • Shaved Pecorino Romano from Food Matters Again via Quinciple

Prep all ingredients. Wash all leafy greens and fennel.

Dressing: Briskly whisk together garlic, lemon juice,sherry vinegar, salt and peppa. Set aside.

In a non stick sauce pot, on medium heat, add 1 TBSP EVOO and walnuts. Cook for about 3 minutes, until fragrant. Add fennel and cook until slightly softened and browned, another 3 minutes. Add a tsp salt and a few cranks of peppa (to taste). Grab the bowl of dressing. Give it a stir to re-blend. Slowly pour dressing over walnut fennel mixture and turn off heat. Stir with a rubber spatula to evenly coat the walnuts and fennel.

In a large bowl, toss together warm fennel walnut mixture, leafy greens and  radicchio. Divide salad into bowls. Sprinkle shaved pecorino romano over top. Decorate with 2-4 wedges of grapefruit (depending on if it is an appetizer size salad or main course size salad)  Serve immediately.


xoxo MCN


About miacucinanyc

To put it simply: A Food Journey- From my kitchen to yours… <3 Through NYC and Beyond <3 Come, mangia with me!
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4 Responses to Citrusy Spring Salad- With Warm Endive and Walnuts

  1. cardamone5 says:

    Thanks for liking my yoga post. While the pancakes are not on my can eat list, this salad, minus the anchovies (I’m not a fan either), most certainly is. Yummy!

  2. Looks delicious! This is my kind of salad!

  3. forty2014 says:

    oh yes. This is going to happen in my kitchen this weekend! Thank you for sharing. Now fingers crossed I can find endives in New Zealand.

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