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Warm Radicchio Salad

Source: Burt Wolf's Local Flavors, Napa Valley, California
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  35 Minutes
  Serves 4
Meadowood is one of the great resorts in northern California, and its chef, Pilar Sanchez will resort to any means to make a great meal. She says, "What makes this salad so special is the wonderful goat cheese that is made here in Saint Helena." She suggests using a hard goat cheese or a hard cow's milk cheese like Parmesan.
For the Baked Pancetta:
Twelve 1/4-inch round slices pancetta
For the Poached Port Figs:
12 whole dried figs
1 cup Ruby port
1 teaspoon coarsely cracked peppercorns
6 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar
For the Vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon each of chopped fresh sage, tarragon and thyme or 1 teaspoon each dried
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white if you can find it)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large (about 1 pound) radicchio, cut into quarters
Chunk of a hard goat's cheese or parmesan cheese
Warm Radicchio Salad Recipe at
TO MAKE THE BAKED PANCETTA: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set the round whole slices of pancetta on a nonstick baking sheet, cover them with foil and top with another baking sheet on the foil so the slices remain flat and do not curl. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top baking pan and foil and continue to bake for 5 minutes longer or until the pancetta is crisp and brown. Let cool and pat with paper towels to remove excess grease.

TO MAKE THE POACHED FIGS: In a non-corrodible saucepan, over medium-high heat, place the figs, port, cracked peppercorns, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. With a skimmer remove the figs from the liquid and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile reduce the remaining port and spices until 2 tablespoons remain. Transfer this to a measuring cup and add 2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar; this will be your balsamic syrup with which you garnish each plate.

TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chopped fresh sage, tarragon and thyme with the shallots, vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper and marinate the radicchio in this mixture until you are ready to finish and serve the salad.

TO FINISH THE SALAD: Preheat the grill or grill pan (preferably nonstick) until very hot. Add the radicchio quarters to the pan and grill for a minute or so or just enough for the outside to be charred while keeping the inside raw. Roughly chop the radicchio into bite-size pieces and return it to the marinating vinaigrette.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Pilar Sanchez, Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Recipe reprinted by permission of Cooks' Catalogue, Inc. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 4
Calories: 495
Fat. Total: 21g
Fiber: 8g
Carbohydrates, Total: 54g
Sodium: 379mg
% Cal. from Fat: 38%
Cholesterol: 13mg
Protein: 7g
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