Prep 10 mins
Cook 0 mins
"When we get there, we'll order up a big salad in a wooden bowl, with basil and spinach and fennel and cilantro and radicchio, and we'll have it with olive oil and vinegar and pepper and garlic."- Book of Guys by Garrison Keillor, Chapter 6, page 138. A funny passage among many funny passages found in Keillor's book published in 1993. Thus begins my odyssey to bring this salad to life- as in life imitating art. Use the freshest ingredients you can find and elaborate on this recipe to your heart's content. Wouldn't fresh parmesan be good in this? Red onion?
- 1 cup fresh basil leaf, torn up
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2⁄3 cup fennel bulb, diced, uncooked, to taste (Florence fennel also known as finocchio)
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 cup radicchio, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half first then later minced
- 1 tablespoon fennel leaves, for seasoning
- fresh imported parmesan cheese (read NOTE below) (optional)
- lemon wedge (to garnish)
- Begin by cutting the garlic clove in half and taking one half and rubbing along the inside of serving bowl.
- Toss the basil leaves, baby spinach leaves, diced fennel bulbs, cilantro leaves and radicchio together lightly in a salad bowl.
- Mince the two garlic halves, adding to the salad along with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, fennel fronds and Parmesan if using. Toss lightly.
- Serve salad with lemon wedges, a good bottle of wine and of course crusty Italian bread. Don't forget the freshly ground black pepper for the final touch!
- NOTE: *Experiment with any fresh imported Italian cheese of your choice, shaved.
I love this salad. I have eaten it almost everyday since I found this recipe last week. Sometimes I add more basil, sometimes more cilantro...what a delightful mix of fresh flavours. The only problem is I am drinking alot more Pinot, it goes beautifully with the salad. Thanks so much for the recipe!
My grandma makes a sald like this, and its very good. The fennel adds such a distinct flavour that is just wonderful