This recipe is inspired by the peach salad with smoked roquefort at Eleven Plates and Wine in Austin, Texas, one of my favorite restaurants in my new home. It turns out that the bitter radicchio plays really well with the sweet Texas peaches and buttery avocado. Try it with any smoked cheese. (My husband will actually eat smoked cheddar, so that's what i used.) We served it with grilled salmon and it made for an easy and delicious summer dinner. —drbabs
small head radicchio
barely ripe peaches
medium avocado, ripe but firm
fruity olive oil
sherry or red wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground black pepper
toasted pecans, chopped into small pieces
Smoked cheddar, cut into tiny pieces
In This Recipe
Whisk olive oil, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a one cup measuring cup. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle in orange juice a little at a time, tasting constantly till it has the taste and consistency that you like. (I used the juice from 1/2 medium orange.) Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Set aside and keep at room temperature.
Remove the core from the radicchio and discard. Chop into 1-inch pieces. Pour a cup or two of water into a large bowl and add enough ice (5-6 pieces) to make the water icy cold. Stir so the ice begins to melt. Add the radicchio to the water. Let it sit, stirring occasionally, till the ice is completely melted to remove some of its bitterness. Strain and then spin in a salad spinner until dry. Place in a medium sized bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut peaches in half, remove and discard the pits. If you've got the grill on, place the halves cut side down on the grill for about minute till the cut side is charred. Cut the peaches into one-inch cubes (I left the skin on because I'm lazy.) Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, peel it, and cut into one-inch cubes.
To assemble the salad, whisk the dressing well and pour about 1/3 of it onto the radicchio. Toss it well. It should be barely coated with dressing. Arrange the radicchio on a platter. Add the peaches and avocado to the same bowl and toss them with more of the dressing. Mound them over the radicchio and sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans and cheese crumbles. (There are no pecans or cheese crumbles in the photo. I forgot them. Oops.)