If you’re not a fan of salad, this Radicchio Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing is going to change your mind. An explosion of flavor, this hearty salad is full of crunchy goodness, salty and sweet notes, and will leave you wanting seconds of salad – trust us!
I always say, you know you’re an adult when you get excited for veggies – in particular bittery leafy greens that are actually purple. A member of the chicory family, radicchio is a bitter leafy vegetable with dark red-purple leaves with white veins. We’ve tested this Radicchio Salad more times than we have fingers, and it remains one we never tire of.
Topped with a zingy lemon parmesan dressing, this Radicchio Salad is served with salty garlic-stuffed olives, crunchy walnuts, nutty parmesan, and crispy breadcrumbs. It’s a flavor sensation, a texture sensation, and a taste sensation that requires minimal effort for big rewards.
This Radicchio Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing is packed with salty, butter bites and a sweet tangy dressing. See the recipe card for quantities.
- Radicchio: Any variety will work but we find the rosso di Verona (round) and rosso di triveso (elongated) to be the most common.
- Garlic-stuffed olives: Adds saltiness and enhanced garlic flavor to the salad.
- Breadcrumbs: We love the crisp and crunchy texture toasted sourdough breadcrumbs bring to our radicchio salad.
- Flat leaf parsley: Adds a clean peppery flavor to the dish and a pop of color.
- Walnuts: Walnuts pair naturally with radicchio and add texture and heartiness to the salad.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: The king of all cheeses, Parmesan pairs well with the radicchio and walnuts, and adds a depth of flavor to the radicchio salad.
- Extra virgin olive oil: The base of any great salad dressing. Use a good quality olive oil if available.
- Lemon: Use fresh lemon. The zest and juice get used.
- Dijon mustard: Acts as an emulsifier to the salad dressing so it doesn’t separate.
- Honey: The sweetness from the honey balances out the acid from the lemon in the dressing, and mellows the bitterness of the radicchio.
- Salt and pepper: Season everything, always.
Step by Step: How to Make Radicchio Salad
This Radicchio Salad packs a huge punch of flavor with just a little effort.
Step 1. Shred the radicchio and place it in a large salad bowl.
Step 2. Tear the olives into 2-3 pieces each, leaving the garlic cloves whole.
Step 3. Heat olive oil on medium-high, add breadcrumbs, and toast until golden brown.
Step 4. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon zest and juice, Dijon, honey Parmesan, and salt and pepper.
Step 5. Top the radicchio with half the dressing, parsley, olives, garlic, walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Toss until well incorporated.
Step 6. Finish with remaining dressing, parsley, olives, garlic, walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Shave Parmigianno-Regiano overtop and serve.
- Radicchio: To mellow the bitterness of the radicchio you can swap half of it for a milder green leaf lettuce such as romaine.
- Garlic Stuffed Olives: Yellow mustard can be used at the same ratio. Like the vinegar, it will give the eggs extra tang.
- Walnuts: Pecans can be substituted for walnuts.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: We often use pecorino Romano in place of Parmigiano-Reggiano..
- Lemon: Apple cider vinegar can be used in the same amount.
- Honey: Sugar can be used in place of the honey.
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To make our Radicchio Salad you’ll require a salad bowl, measuring spoons, whisk,
This radicchio salad is best enjoyed immediately after serving. We don’t recommend saving leftovers as the breadcrumbs get soggy and lose their crunch.
For precision cutting, use a mandolin to shred the radicchio.
What is radicchio?
Radicchio is a leafy lettuce that grows in heads of bitter leaves that are mainly wine-red with white at the base.
Radicchio Salad with Lemon Parmesan Dressing
- 2 heads radicchio shredded
- 1 cup garlic-stuffed olives torn
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
- 1 cup rough chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup Parmigianno-regiano shavings
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ cup parm
- 2 teaspoon honey
- Pinch salt
- Pinch pepper
- Shred the radicchio and place in a large salad bowl.
- Tear the olives into 2-3 pieces each, leaving the garlic cloves whole.
- Heat olive oil on medium-high, add breadcrumbs, and toast until golden brown.
- In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon zest and juice, Dijon, honey Parmesan, and salt and pepper.
- Top the radicchio with half the dressing, parsley, olives, garlic, walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Toss until well incorporated.
- Finish with remaining dressing, parsley, olives, garlic, walnuts, and breadcrumbs. Shave Parmigianno-Regiano overtop and serve.