I am 120% sure that this is what salad dreams are made of – a salad featuring frisée, radicchio, bright winter citrus, sweet, anise-like tarragon, outstandingly complex and creamy Roquefort AND crunchy candied walnuts. SO delicious!! Just give me a second to catch my breath!
This wonderfully tasty salad is sure to brighten your mood almost as much as experiencing a month of fabulous March weather – like we did! A big change from two years ago when we still had snow falling this time of year. Which by the way made me all together question why I left Canada for Germany. Being a “West Coast” girl I am not accustomed to a snowy winter by any means. Cold and wet, yes, but snow, not really. Okay, I admit I spent the first 10 years of my life in the North West Territories and Yukon, so I was (key word “was”) accustomed to snow – enough for a lifetime. I am still dreaming of California weather, all-the-time.
Salads remind me of summer and I love being reminded of summer all-year-round.
Not only is this one super tasty but it’s also packed with goodness. On the tip-top of the healthy nut list, you’ll find walnuts. Just a handful is loaded with Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Good for your brain. And they resemble your brain. Go figure. They are also full up on unique antioxidants and vitamin E — vital for beautiful, glowing skin. Plus a whole lot more good things for keeping you healthy and happy.
And believe it or not, Roquefort cheese may actually be favorable to cardiovascular health and have healthy, anti-inflammatory properties. So moldy cheese, together with a glass of red wine may actually explain the occurrence of the “French paradox”.
The legend behind Roquefort is that a shepherd left his lunch in a cave when he spied a beautiful maiden in the distance. When he returned to his baguette, his cheese had gone bleu.
Frisée and Radicchio Salad with Candied Walnuts and Oranges
For the candied walnuts:
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup walnuts, left whole or chopped coarsely (100 g)
1/2 teaspoon natural cane sugar
For the salad:
1/2 head frisée (enough so that when the leaves are separated, washed, and torn into bite-sized pieces, about 4 handfuls)
1 small head radicchio, chopped
2 navel oranges (blood oranges or Cara Cara pink navels are also a nice alternative), segmented
1/2 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled (about 50 g)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons walnut oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add walnuts and sugar. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Whisk together the vinegars, walnut oil and Dijon mustard until emulsified. Add the shallot, season with salt and pepper; stir to combine.
3. In a large serving bowl combine the frisée, radicchio, orange segments, tarragon, and walnut. Toss gently with the vinaigrette, season with pepper, and garnish with crumbled cheese. Serve and enjoy!