Radicchio and endive winter greens with avocado cream and fennel. Bitter is a flavor and this is how you make it great.
I will never intentionally order a salad with radicchio or endive as the main ingredient. Bitter anything is not appealing to me. Which is a real shame because bitter is truly a flavor and it can be appreciated. I'm just not on that level quite yet. It's like plain anchovies. I want to like them because I know they have a great umami flavor... but I don't. So with that in mind, I really, really like this bitter greens salad for today's recipe as part of our January healthy meal planning series.
And here's why bitter matters. Nutrition studies show that bitter foods have a ton of phytonutrients. The problem is that in general (like me), consumers do not want a bitter flavor and so many varieties of produce have been selectively bred to remove these compounds and therefore, these phytonutrients. But selective breading and general avoidance of said produce is not the only way to make bitter better. It comes to flavor marriages. Mainly: sweet + fat.
So as you take a look at this recipe you're going to notice we took things that are sweet and things that have fat and added them in ways that still created colorful and textural positives.
Bitter: endive and radicchio.
Sweet: plums and grapes.
Fat: pecans and avocado cream.
WINTER BITTER GREEN SALAD WITH AVOCADO CREAM DRESSING
/// Ingredients ///
- 1/2 inch freshly grated ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 cup pecan oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 teaspoons honey
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 avocado (remove skin and pit)
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 plum, sliced
- 1 endive, cut in half and sliced
- 1/3 cup red grapes halves
- 1/4 cup fennel, sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh fennel tops
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
- 1/8 cup chopped pecans
/// Directions /// Prepare the two separate dressings (avocado cream and the lemon dressing) and all produce for the salad. To make avocado cream, add ingredients to an immersion blender and blend until smooth. To make lemon dressing, add ingredients to a bowl and whisk.
Add avocado cream as the first layer on the plate. Top with salad parts and drizzle lemon dressing over top. Note: the amount of avocado cream in the pictures above is just for plating photos. Use all of that goodness you made!
Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.