By Anna Thomas
Invigorating and refreshing, this is an ideal vegetarian winter or spring salad: great handfuls of dark green flat-leaf parsley, sliced radishes and celery for crunch, radicchio for color, salty capers, and a few dried cranberries and walnuts. If you don’t have daikon radish, use French breakfast radishes, or any fairly mild radishes that are available.
- ⅓ cup (1½ ounces) dried cherries or cranberries
- 8 ounces fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 head radicchio (5–6 ounces)
- 1 cup thinly sliced daikon radish (4 ounces)
- 1¼ cups thinly sliced celery (5—6 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons capers, salt-packed if you can get them
- ½ cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts (we used locally roasted Q’s Nuts)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoons agave nectar
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 ounces local Swiss or aged Gouda style cheese, coarsely grated or cut in small dice
Pour about ½ cup of boiling water over the dried cherries or cranberries and leave them to soak for about 30 minutes. Take the parsley leaves off the large stems; small sprigs of three leaves are fine. You should have 5 to 6 cups. Wash the parsley well and spin it in a salad spinner. Wash the radicchio, quarter it lengthwise and core it, and cut the quarters in ½-inch strips.
Toss together the parsley, radicchio, sliced radish and celery, capers, and walnuts. Drain the fruit, and add it to the salad. Shortly before serving, sprinkle the salad with the sea salt and toss gently. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice, and agave and toss again. Taste, add more lemon juice or salt if you like, and grind on some black pepper.
Grated or finely diced cheese can be added now and tossed with the whole salad, or it can be passed at the table as a garnish.
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer or side salad