Carrot and Radicchio Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

April 16, 2015
7 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This salad is made of sweet, roasted carrots, and pleasantly bitter dreads of radicchio to whip that sweetness into shape. It’s got a man-sized handful of pistachios. And when you eat it, there is no pushing aside of filler ingredients to get to more consequential ones; you could stab recklessly into this thing, blindfolded, and still get a perfect bite. How many other salads would you want to eat with your eyes closed?

Adapted from Eli and Max Sussman's Classic Recipes for Modern People (Olive Press, 2015) —Kenzi Wilbur

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh figs, or 2 large dried figs (see note in step 2)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds multi-colored carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 1 medium to large head radicchio
  1. Heat the oven to 375° F. Set the pistachios in a heavy, dry pan on the stovetop over low heat to toast. Toast, shaking the pan from time to time, until they smell nutty and fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together a half cup of the olive oil, the shallot, vinegar, figs, 2 tablespoons water, and a small pinch of salt. Note: If you can't find fresh figs, blend 2 dried, de-stemmed figs with the water, salt, and vinegar, then slowly stream in the olive oil with the blender running. Whisk in the shallot separately.
  3. Toss the carrots with 1/2 cup of olive oil in a large bowl, season with a large pinch of salt, and spread out on a baking sheet in one layer. Pour 1/4 cup of water over the top. Roast until the carrots have just started to brown and crisp on the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Core and roughly chop the radicchio, and place half the leaves in a large bowl.
  5. When the carrots are close to done, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining radicchio, and flash-cook until it wilts and begins to brown in places. Transfer to the bowl with the raw radicchio.
  6. Add the carrots to the salad bowl, drizzle with a bit of dressing (you will not use it all, so start slow), and toss very gently to keep the carrots intact. Add the pistachios, toss, and taste and adjust for dressing and salt. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Valerie Delisle-gagnon

12 Reviews

anna May 8, 2023
One of the best salads I've ever had. Worth the effort!
Cate H. October 18, 2021
Served with polenta to round out the meal. Really, really good!
Rebecca F. December 26, 2020
This was absolutely delicious - but with that being said, I cut the oil out completely from the roasting carrots. There's no need for a cup of oil in a salad! - and using the water to roast works fine given the dressing addition to finish. I also simplified the radicchio process by chopping it all and stirring it into the roasting pan with the carrots for the last five minutes of baking. Because this was pairing with a rich meal, I didn't add the pistachios. For a simpler dinner, they likely would have been a nice addition.
kosta19 May 16, 2020
Loved this salad! The only thing I did differently is that I added some goat cheese and crispy pancetta. Delicious!
kosta19 May 16, 2020
Loved this salad! The only thing I did differently is that I added some goat cheese and crispy pancetta. Delicious!
knoh January 2, 2020
Perfect salad for a holiday meal. And great tasting served at room temp.
Nancy November 15, 2019
I guess if you do everything different this will be delicious?
Laura January 14, 2019
This was great. No fresh figs, so followed the steps using dried figs. Wonderful winter salad! I'd did cut the carrots in half lengthwise as well so they were easier to serve and eat.
Patricia October 18, 2018
This combination is a delightful surprise. I made a few substitutes: dried organic apricots, for figs, parsnips to compliment the carrots, pecans for lack of pistachios. It was SUPERB.
Valerie D. June 3, 2018
Delicious !
robin L. September 20, 2016
no need to soak the radicchio (as is recommended in my favorite Toro Bravo's Radicchio Salad...)?
Nat P. April 20, 2015
unbelievable flavour, i didn't have pistachios or figs, so subbed roasted macadamias (chopped) and soaked dates (chopped). Also added in avocado, haloumi and brown rice. Who needs a side when you can have a main meal. DELICIOUS, thank you.