Winter Vegetable & Radicchio Salad

Salads are my thing. If breakfast weren’t a meal, you could say it is the only thing I eat. I like them because they are easy to assemble, versatile, and delicious. A well-made salad is perfectly dressed (not too much, not too little), well seasoned (salt is your best friend), and seasonal (the ingredient list is short and the vegetables concurrently seasonal).

During the colder parts of the year, I make salads robust and comforting by using aromatic spices and bold flavors. By combing deep roasted root vegetables, hearty greens, and lots of herbs you too can assemble colorful and inspiring salads to beat January blues.

This recipe embodies everything that makes a winter salad delicious: curry crusted, deep roasted celery root; caramelized, bitter radicchio; thinly sliced fennel; lots of fresh herbs, and a delightful dressing to bind everything together. 

Every ingredient is cooked independently to celebrate their best attribute. Celery root is quickly marinated in a vadouvan spice blend, olive oil and salt, before roasted until fork tender and slightly crispy around the edges. To bring out radicchio’s sweet flavors, it is pan roasted until slightly cooked, crispy and brown. Raw fennel is thinly sliced and tossed in for crunch and brightness. Floral and earthy, turmeric is whisked into a lemon vinaigrette then poured over the salad to contrasts the deep winter vegetable flavors beautifully, making each bite complex and full of flavor. 

This salad is best when eaten straight out of the pan, while still warn, its aromas infusing your dinner table with cumin, turmeric, and curry.  So simple, so delicious, my kind of meal.

Winter Vegetable & Radicchio Salad

Serves 2, cook time 45-50 minutes

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 1 inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and grated

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • salt to taste

  • 1 celery root

  • 1 tbsp. vadouvan spice blend or curry powder

  • 1 radicchio head, outer leaves removed and cut into quarters

  • ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced

  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

  • Small handful fresh cilantro or parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the dressing, mix lemon juice, grated turmeric, and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use. 

Using a pairing knife cut skin off celery root. Cut it in half, then slice into thin (roughly ¼” wide) half rounds. Place in a bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and Vadouvan spice blend. Using clean hands toss until evenly coated. Place in a baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until tender and brown around the edges. Remove from oven a set aside.

When celery root is close to being done, place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Place quartered radicchio, cut side down onto skillet. Cook for 5-6 minutes, turning once to cook both cut sides of each quarter. Add more olive oil to skillet if needed. Cut edge should be golden brown. Remove skillet from heat.

Add thinly sliced fennel, roasted celery root, and a tablespoon of olive oil to skillet. Toss until evenly distributed. Pour Tangy Turmeric dressing over and toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Toss in roughly chopped walnuts and fresh herbs. Serve warm.