Radicchio & Pickled Radish Salad

October 28, 2021
5 Ratings
  • Prep time 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Cook time 6 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8 as a side
Author Notes

Simply looking at this festive salad will fill you with gratitude for the abundant harvest we celebrate during Thanksgiving. Although extremely pretty with all the shades of pink and red, this salad is so much more than what meets the eye. Refreshing and assertive flavors come courtesy of the bitter leaves, pickled radishes, shaved apples, and blushing watermelon radishes. Toasted and crushed walnuts add warmth and crunch beneath a studded cloak of tangy pomegranate dressing.

The refreshing qualities of this salad make it the perfect accompaniment to any of your favorite holiday foods—and the sturdy radicchio and endive stand up to being passed around the table multiple times as you linger over your meal. Although this recipe is ideal for any cold weather holiday, I welcome you to make it any time you feel like a hearty and special salad. You could even add roasted winter squash cubes and serve it as a meal.

The produce components of this salad—except for the pomegranate seeds and apple—can be made up to 2 days ahead (up to 3 days for the pickle) as long as they are stored separately and in the refrigerator. The toasted nuts can be stored at room temperature. Stir the pomegranate seeds into the dressing just before serving, so the seeds don’t lose their color or soften. A mandolin is recommended for shaving the watermelon radishes and shallot: Slice the red radishes thinly, but not paper-thin, as they tend to disappear in the salad once they’re pickled. The watermelon radishes are best shaved paper-thin, and you can peel them first if they’re blemished. The heirloom Pink Pearl apples are gorgeous with all the other shades of pink; otherwise any tart and crisp apple is fine. Also, if you don’t mind removing a few seeds, you can shave the apple crosswise in full circles. —Amy Chaplin

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is part of Residentsgiving—aka the Thanksgiving menu of our wildest dreams—created by Food52's resident experts-slash-superheroes. Devour the rest of the spread here, and while you're at it, learn how to Remix & Remaster your Thanksgiving. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Pickled radishes
  • 4 ounces red radishes, shaved or very thinly sliced
  • 1 small shallot or small red or white onion, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • Salad
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 12 ounces radicchio (about 1 medium head), outer leaves removed
  • 1 red or regular Belgian endive, leaves separated and core removed
  • 4 ounces watermelon radishes (about 2 small-medium), shaved or very thinly sliced
  • 1 small crisp, tart apple, such as Pink Pearl or Northern Spy
  1. Pickle the radishes: Combine the red radishes, shallot, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl and mix well to combine. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours to pickle, or transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be sure the radish and shallots are fully submerged in the pickling liquid so they can all turn pink—the liquid increases as it sits so you can periodically press the mixture into the liquid.
  2. Make the dressing: Place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and salt in a medium jar, tightly screw on a lid, and shake well to combine. When you are ready to assemble the salad, stir in the pomegranate seeds and reshake the dressing.
  3. Make the salad: Heat the oven to 300°F.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, add the walnuts, and spread out evenly. Toast for 6 to 8 minutes, or until fragrant, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Coarsely crush the nuts directly on the sheet pan using the back of a wooden spoon and set aside.
  5. Remove the radicchio leaves from the head all the way to the center, then discard the core (cut it in quarters if needed to remove the tighter inner leaves). Tear the leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the endive leaves and crushed nuts. Drain the pickled radishes and shallots (discard the pickling liquid or save it to season sauces or stews) and sprinkle over the salad. Add the shaved watermelon radishes, then shave the apple (or slice as thin as possible) and add to the salad. Drizzle with the dressing and gently toss. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mjs
  • N Van Kirk
    N Van Kirk
Amy Chaplin is a two-time James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and vegetarian chef. Amy's approach to cooking is inspired by nature and the healing benefits of whole food ingredients. Her recipes have been featured in T Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Vogue, among other publications. She divides her time between Brooklyn and Upstate New York.

2 Reviews

mjs April 29, 2023
Why do you make it so difficult to print out a recipe. I’ve had to login twice and still can’t print it.
N V. November 14, 2021
This was terrific! Absolutely worth the prep time. Best of all, except for the apple and the dressing the entire salad can be assembled ahead. We made half for two with a steak, and polished off the entire platter. Definitely on my list of favorite winter salads.