If you've been reading my posts on Portland, you should know that it would only be a matter of time before I made this. The Missus loved the Radicchio Salad at Tasty N Alder so much, we went twice. The Missus wanted to go on our last morning as well, but they opened a bit too late so we ended up somewhere else. I knew that Chef John Gorham, has a cookbook out named after his Spanish inspired restaurant; Toro Bravo. Taking a quick look at the Amazon page for the book; I quickly saw "Radicchio Salad" in the index....so guess what? I bought the book. The recipe for the salad at Toro Bravo is different from what is served at Tasty N Alder. The book version is dressed with a vinaigrette....though I like the idea of macerating onion in the vinegar for added punch. I'll surely use that idea later on. It also uses a tapenade and is served with baguette. The version at TNA is dressed with mayo with slices of bacon; they call it lardons, but it's a pretty wide slice of bacon. All was not lost however, as there were two take-aways from the recipe in the book; using a microplane to grate the manchego cheese, which makes it light as air and which allows the cheese to incorporate itself into the dressing adding another layer of flavor. The second, soaking the radicchio in ice water to remove some of the bitterness. This was key. The Missus had never taken to radicchio because of its bitterness. In addition, I decided to make my own mayonnaise, a light, whole egg version.....which I call my "three minute mayo".....like it says, it takes about three minutes to make and is very light and creamy. I also mixed in 3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat for that extra kick. I'm thinking you can add some anchovy, or some extra acid component if desired. The Missus enjoys this version.
So here's what I made......four times in ten days!
This is what we had twice at Tasty N Alder.
Radicchio Salad (Inspired by Tasy N Alder):
3 slices thick cut bacon
3-4 Tb Rendered Bacon Fat
1 tsp Agave Syrup Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Radicchio (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup Manchego Cheese grated with a microplane
2 boiled eggs crumbled (optional)
- Cut radicchio into four and remove core portion. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Separate leaves and soak in ice water for 30 minutes
- Slice bacon into 1/2" wide slices. Cook slowly to render off bacon fat and let bacon crisp. Let bacon fat cool but not harden
- Combine mayonnaise, bacon fat, agave syrup. Taste and add salt a pepper as necessary. Chill.
- Grate machego cheese, crumble boiled eggs
- Combine radicchio with dressing, coat evenly
- Top with bacon and grated manchego cheese
- Bring to the table and mix well.