This is a transition salad, for when winter is not quite dead and you want a tempting bowl of healthy goodness full of colour and crunch. It works just as well when summer is washed out and the early mists of autumn start appearing.
2 Tbsp pine nuts
Flaky sea salt
1 small ball radicchio (red lettuce)
1 witloof (chicory/endive)
1 cup microgreens & edible flowers calendula, violas, nasturtium, herb flowers such as pineapple sage, thyme or rosemary flowers, rocket (arugula) flowers etc, broken apart into petals )
Herbs of your choice: snipped chives, small mint or marjoram leaves, blades of tarragon, thyme leaves & flowers
½ cup red grapes, halved
½ cup pomegranate seeds, optional
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp raspberry or tarragon vinegar
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dab of creamy Dijon mustard
1 Lightly toast pine nuts in an oiled frying pan until pale golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
2 Trim radicchio, break apart into leaves, then tear into bite-sized pieces. Trim witloof, separate into leaves, then cut into chunks. Slice radish thinly. Put radish, radicchio and witloof in a large bowl with the microgreens and edible flowers, herbs and grapes.
3 Whisk dressing ingredients together and toss with salad. Sprinkle salad with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve immediately.
To slice the radish thinly, leave greenery on radish and peel into thin rounds with a vegetable peeler – easy! Or carefully slice on a mandolin.
No radicchio? Don’t grab red cabbage, it’s too tough for this salad. Use a red oak leaf salad, or red-tinged soft leaf lettuce.
Serve salad with barbecued or pan-fried chicken thighs. An easy method is to toss skinned and boned chicken thighs (I always remove the visible fat), with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and crushed coriander seeds. For 4-6 chicken thighs, use 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds, ½ tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Cook on a preheated barbecue hot plate (griddle), or in a ridged grill pan, until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt.