Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Donnini's Sicilian Salad

I was recently in Melbourne, Australia and ate at a wonderful restaurant called Donnini's.  They had a very refreshing salad they called the Sicilian Salad which combined two bitter greens - Radicchio and Endive with Fennel slices.  The dressing was made of Blood Orange Juice and Olive Oil. It was a simple salad and so delicious!  I loved the bitterness of the greens combined with the sweet taste of the fennel and the sourness of the Blood Orange juice.  It was refreshing and exciting. It also was the perfect first course for the rich pasta dishes that followed.  So, I tried to recreate the dish at home and here's the recipe I came up with.  Luckily, I found some Blood Oranges, but if you can't, you can recreate that taste by mixing fresh Navel Orange juice with some Lemon juice.  If you like bitter greens, you need to try this salad!

Sicilian Salad

2 heads Endive

2 heads Raddichio
1 Fennel Bulb
2 Blood Oranges, juiced (or juice of a small Navel orange and a small lemon)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Wash the Endive, Raddichio and Fennel.  Cut the top branches and bottom root off the Fennel and slice into thin slices.  Then tear the Endive and Raddichio into bite sized pieces. Put in a salad bowl.  In a smaller bowl, mix together the Blood Orange Juice, Olive Oil and Salt. Pour over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Five Element Analysis

Endive and Raddichio, being bitter greens, belong to the Fire Elment. The Wood Element is represented by the Orange Juice and the Olive Oil.  The bit of salt contributes a hint of the Water Element.  So, to create balance, serve this salad with a soup that contains something Earthy, like Beef or Root Vegetables.  

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