This salad is crunchy, sweet, salty, punchy, bright and so many other amazing things we're pretty sure you won't even realise you're eating a salad.
Dressing (makes ½ cup dressing):
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
⅓ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
250g sourdough (or your favourite bread), cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
600g mixed radicchio (we used a mix of red and spotted radicchio + endives)
300g fennel (1 bulb) + fennel greens (if they’re still attached)
300g pear (around 2 pears)
2 spring onions, finely sliced
50g pecans, chopped
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
¼ tsp salt
Start by making the croutons. Preheat the oven to 180˙C. Toss the bread in olive oil and salt, spread evenly on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
To make the dressing, combine the diced shallot, lemon juice and vinegar (in a bowl large enough to whisk in). Whisk for 1-2 minutes, then add the dijon mustard, maple syrup and mix. Stream the olive oil in while whisking, and mix until it is fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper, mix again, and taste for seasoning. Add extra salt/maple syrup/lemon juice to taste.
Make the caramelised pecans by combining the chopped pecans, coconut sugar, coconut oil/butter in a small saucepan and heating over medium heat. Stir the pecans until they’re evenly coated and toast for 3-4 minutes. Add salt at the end, stir again, and remove from heat.
Finally, prep the raw veg (do this last so it stays fresh and vibrant). Wash the radicchio leaves and tear the large ones up with your hands. We kept the endives and small radicchio leaves whole, as they act as they look beautiful but also act as sauce collectors (professional term).
Prep the fennel and pear by washing and slicing both thinly - if you have a mandolin use that, otherwise use a knife. Keep the fennel greens/flowers (the dill-looking parts at the top), if they’re still attached, and set aside.
Combine the leaves, sliced fennel, sliced pears, croutons and caramelised pecans in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add 4 tbsp of dressing, and continue to toss until every element is coated. Serve topped with sliced spring onions, fennel tops and an extra drizzle of dressing.
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.