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Red and Green Holiday Salads

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Radicchio, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

(Family Features) - The traditional pairing of red and green is a seasonal color favorite. Why not let the menu selections on your holiday table lend support to the theme?

Most lettuces will provide the green base of any fresh salad for the holidays. Boston, butterhead, romaine, iceberg or green leaf lettuces are as close as your supermarket produce section. Brilliant radicchio, dried cranberries, dried cherries, pomegranate seeds and ruby red grapefruit provide the scarlet color for the dish as well as a nutritional kick.

Radicchio is a delicious way to add color to the holiday dinner table. Its red color makes it the perfect, healthful holiday addition to meals. A two-cup serving of shredded radicchio is a good source of fiber and folate and is a fat-free source of vitamin E. Radicchio also provides the essential minerals magnesium and potassium. All this for fewer than 10 calories per cup!

Radicchio's intense flavor partners deliciously with other vibrant, favorites. Radicchio's slightly spicy bite - its bright, bitter note - makes it pair deliciously with many other flavor components. In fact, there are five categories of foods that make radicchio perform brilliantly - mellowing its bitter character. These categories include sour, salt, sweet, fat, and pungent. Think ingredients like balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, fresh or dried fruit, extra virgin olive oil, and blue cheese.

These Pairings, or flavor-layering techniques, create delicious synergy in a dish.When it comes to selecting radicchio, consumers may want to ask their local stores to carry domestically-grown radicchio because it is fresher and bigger. Imported radicchio, which typically arrives in this country by boat, must constantly be trimmed. It often is trimmed down to tennis-ball size by the time it is purchased. Consider using fresher product so you can take full advantage of radicchio's versatility for fresh salads and side dishes.

Royal Rose radicchio is harvested on a daily basis. It features a big, firm head with dark leaves, bright white ribs and a fresh texture. Because it is grown domestically, its journey from field to market to table is much shorter.

Consider these tips for selecting a fresh head of radicchio:

  • Look for dark red to purple leaves with small white veins.
  • Select tight, firm radicchio heads that feel heavy for their size.
  • Avoid very small heads (less than 1/2 pound) - they're old.
  • Avoid heads that are pointed, misshapen or ones with loose leaves.

For more information, visit www.radicchio.com.

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Radicchio, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

  • 2 ruby red grapefruit
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 head Royal Rose radicchio, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 firm-ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped smoked almonds
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion
  • Salt and pepper

    1. Section grapefruit; set fruit aside. Squeeze membrane to release any juice into large bowl. Whisk in oil and lime juice, add radicchio and toss. Divide evenly among four plates and top with grapefruit sections, avocado, almonds and onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4
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SOURCE: Royal Rose Radicchio

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