Weir Cooking in the City: Radicchio, Arugula, Golden Raisin, and Pine Nut Salad

Serves: 6

Rome, along with Venice, New York, Sydney, and, of course, San Francisco top my list of favorite cities. This salad comes from Rome. It has the agrodolce or sweet and sour combination that the Italians, especially in the south, love so much. This salad is great to make during the winter months when all of these ingredients are at their prime.

• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 1 large bulb fennel
• 1 medium head radicchio, torn into 2-inch pieces
• 1 large bunch arugula, stems removed
• 3 blood oranges or seedless oranges
• 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/3 cup golden raisins or sultanas

Warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring and shaking the pan constantly, until the pine nuts are light golden, 2 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan immediately.

Cut the stem end and top off the fennel, leaving the bulb intact. Cut the fennel lengthwise. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, cut the fennel into paper-thin slices.

Combine the fennel, radicchio, and arugula in a bowl and refrigerate.

Finely grate 1 teaspoon orange zest; reserve. Cut the top and bottom off the oranges. Place one of the cut sides down on a work surface. Starting at the top and following the contour of the orange down, cut off the skin, leaving no white pith remaining. Cut the peeled orange into slices. Reserve. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and reserved orange zest. Season with salt and pepper. Add the raisins.

Toss the reserved salad greens with the vinaigrette. Place on individual serving plates and garnish with the orange slices and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Wine suggestion: Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe ©2004 Joanne Weir from Weir Cooking in the City, reprinted by permission.