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Author Notes: This slaw evolved to complement one of my favorite pork dishes: Fennel Pollen Crusted Pork Chops. I experimented with a few combinations and just love the slight bitterness of the radicchio with the sweetness of the pears. The lemony vinaigrette with a little honey adds some more sweetness, and the minced anchovy gives it depth. And I can't stress enough how perfect the Manchego cheese is for this slaw. I've tried others, but they don't compare. And, you'll also get delicious results if you substitute the pears with apples...just make sure they are sweet. It's a great slaw to make in the fall and even winter when apples, pears and chicories are in season. It would also go great with fried chicken! Enjoy :) —Jenya | BlueGalley
For the Slaw
- 1 large radicchio, or 2 medium
- 1 fennel bulb, plus fronds from the stalks
- 1 head of Frisee lettuce (optional)
- 2 medium Bartlett pears
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 scallions, green parts only
- 5 ounces Manchego cheese
For the Dressing
- 2 scallions, white and pale green parts only
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 2 small cloves)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 anchovy, mashed into a paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 splashes of Tobasco sauce, or a pinch of Cayenne
- Remove the tough white center of the radicchio and slice thinly. Place into a large bowl, cover with cold water and add a few ice cubes. Let the radicchio soak for about a half hour (this removes a lot of the bitterness, which mellows out the slaw). Drain and remove as much water as possible either with a spinner or using paper towels to blot. Place the dried radicchio in a large serving bowl.
- While the radicchio soaks, make the dressing: Finely chop the white and pale green parts of 2 scallions (reserve the green parts aside) and place into a mason jar. Mince the garlic and anchovy and add to jar. Add all other ingredients except oil, put lid on jar and shake to mix. Then add the oil and shake again to emulsify. Set aside or place in fridge if finishing salad later.
- Slice the green parts of the scallions on the diagonal and add to the radicchio. Cut stalks off of fennel and remove fronds. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and add to the bowl, chop the fronds to yield about 2 tbs and add half to the bowl (reserve the other tbs of fronds to sprinkle over dish before serving). Chop the firs if using and add to bowl, along with 2 tbs of chopped parsley. Mix the other tbs with the chopped fronds you set aside for sprinkling at the end.
- Shake the dressing a bit and add half of it to the salad bowl. Using clean hands or tongs, massage dressing into the veggies. Let them sit to soak up the dressing for a bit.
- Cut all the rinds off of the Manchego cheese and either thickly grate the cheese, use a peeler to slice into chunks, or do a combination of both. Add to the bowl.
- Cut and chop the pears last, so they don’t brown. Slice into quarters, remove the seeds, tough center parts and stem using a corer or pairing knife. Thinly slice the pears, the stack the slices and julienne, or cut into matchsticks. Add to the bowl and gently toss everything together.
- Season the slaw with more salt and pepper if desired and add more dressing, a little at a time, until it is well coated, but not too soggy or liquid. Serve immediately or place in fridge. The slaw is delicious the next day as well!