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Radicchio and Pear Salad

Insalata di Radicchio e Pera

SERVES 4

Insalate now come in many new guises in Italy, where, in times past, mixed greens or greens with raw vegetables was the acceptable and traditional norm. But isn't it nice to flirt with tradition and add some new twists? This colorful and refreshingly different radicchio salad would be considered alta cucina (gourmet cooking) on the Italian table.

Ingredients

2 ripe Anjou, William, or Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 small heads radicchio, torn into small pieces

1/2 cup broken walnut pieces

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 blood or naval orange, peeled and separated into segments

1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola dolce cheese

DRESSING

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar or rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Place the pears in a shallow bowl and combine them with the lemon juice. Cover and set aside.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine the radicchio, walnuts, cranberries, and orange segments in a bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss well. Add the pears with the lemon juice and toss again.

Sprinkle the top with the cheese and serve.

Variation: Dried figs, chopped, instead of cranberries make a nice alternative.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO! by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.

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