I am head-over-heels for the adorably tiny Berkeley café Bartavelle, located next door to the original Acme Bread bakery (and the former location of the now-closed Café Fanny). Everything on their menu is superb, beautifully fresh, and gorgeously presented. And to top it off, they have a conscience! (In February they donated $1 to the ACLU for every Persian Breakfast sold.) But there are two great stand-outs at this yummy café: the aforementioned Persian Breakfast (which, you seriously must go and order) and their stunning salad. The salad is a perfect balance of pretty speckled chicories, paper-thin fennel, pomegranate seeds, pomelo, and herbs. They offer an array of toppings, but I can personally never get past the slightly runny olive oil egg.
Unfortunately, I’m not in Berkeley terribly often so I only get this salad that I adore very infrequently. Thus, I decided to come up with an ode to their salad. It’s not the same salad, but shares some of the same great tastes. And it’s a colorful addition to your menu on these rainy days…
Recipe: Hearty Salad with Radicchio, Fennel, Grapefruit and Hazelnuts
- 1 scant tbsp minced shallot
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 or 3 tbsp grapefruit juice (from segmented grapefruit; see instructions)
- 2 grapefruit or 1 pomelo
- 2 cups baby or wild arugula
- 1 head radicchio, roughly chopped or torn
- 1 endive, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved (save fronds for garnish)
- ½ cup torn cilantro leaves
- 1 wedge Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 4 to 6 very thin slices prosciutto or speck (optional)
- To segment the grapefruit, trim the top and bottom off of the grapefruit, then using a thin knife, cut away the peel and pith in sections, moving along the contour of the fruit. Cut along each side of the membrane, allowing the segments to fall away. Work over a bowl to capture the fruit juices, then squeeze the remaining membrane to remove any juice at the end.
- To make the vinaigrette, put all the ingredients in a small screw-top jar and shake vigorously until the ingredients are emulsified. Alternately, in a bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until emulsified. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the arugula, radicchio, endive, fennel, and cilantro with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette, enough to coat the leaves lightly. Leave in the serving bowl or divide between bowls or plates, then top with hazelnuts, shaved Parmesan, and prosciutto if using. Serve, passing the remaining dressing on the side.