Most Thanksgiving meals are full of decadent and heavy foods. Add some contrast to the mix with a colorful and zippy salad that comes together quickly and seamlessly. Punchy bitter greens and fennel cut through the sweet, buttery, and starchy sides of the holiday and create a respite for your tastebuds. Thanksgiving or not, this salad is a simple yet sophisticated addition to your salad repertoire.
I love the addition of radicchio to salads for its vibrancy and pop in color and taste. Using differently pigmented foods adds both visual appeal and nutritional benefit. Green, purple, orange, and red hued foods all contain antioxidants which help the body fend off damage from environmental factors.
Spicy and sweet pistachios add a crunchy buttery element. The maple and chipotle create a sweet and spicy blend which adds dimension to the bitter greens and anise-y fennel. The pistachios in the salad are not only a flavorful addition, but are also a good source of healthy fat, fiber, and the antioxidant nutrient Vitamin E, which protects cells from damaging free radicals.
Whether you are eating for health, taste, or both, enjoy this salad full of nutrients and flavor.
Radicchio, endive, and Arugula Salad with Spiced Pistachios
Serves 6 side salads
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Pinch chipotle powder
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
Salt and pepper
4 cups arugula, torn into bite-size pieces
1 head radicchio, leaves separated and torn into bite-size pieces
1 head endive, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, outer layer and core removed, thinly sliced
4 radish, thinly sliced
Parmesan for shaving
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Toss pistachios with maple syrup and chipotle powder and roast for 6 to 9 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.
While the nuts toast, make the salad dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the radish and the fennel and let them marinate in the dressing while the nuts cool. This creates a slightly pickled element.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the radish and fennel to a serving bowl. Add the arugula, radicchio, endive, and enough dressing to coat the lettuces. Toss together. Top with a hearty shaving of parmesan, the toasted pistachios, and a few grinds of black pepper.