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Radicchio orange salad with goat cheese & chilli maple walnuts

A close up aerial photo of a radicchio, orange, fennel, goats cheese and chilli maple walnut salad. The salad is bathed in sunlight, creating a warm glow. It is topped with FODMAP friendly faux pickled red onion and some fennel fronds for colour.

My love of radicchio is well documented. Today’s recipe, I suppose, is a bit of a variation on a theme. That theme is radicchio orange salad. I’ve made one before, I’ll make one again, but this one is easy, seasonal and absolutely gorgeous. Low fuss, high reward.

An aerial close up view of a radicchio, orange, fennel, goat's cheese and maple chilli walnut salad. The salad sits atop a large white ceramic plate on a white marble table. A serving spoon sits alongside the salad in the centre bottom of the image

Dressing

The dressing recipe is an absolute favourite of mine and I use it all the time. Personally, I love a super mustardy dressing, but if you don’t you can use 1-2 teaspoons less mustard.

Realistically any vinegar or acid will work here, but I recommend red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or lemon juice.

Not all dressings use a sweetener, but I think it’s super important here to balance everything out. Not only is the dressing punchy, but all the salad elements are, too. Adding maple syrup (or honey) balances the tang of the goat’s cheese, radicchio and the citrusy bitter sweetness of the oranges.

Any plainer tasting oil works well here. If you’re using Meredith marinated goat’s cheese (which I hope you do!) I recommend using the oil from the jar to make the dressing. It uses it up and adds an extra layer of flavour to the radicchio orange salad.

I recommend making more dressing than might need (as reflected in the recipe card) so you can adjust according to your tastes. The dressing keeps well in the fridge and will spruce up anything it touches.

An aerial image of a radicchio, orange, fennel, goats cheese and maple chilli walnut salad. The salad tips atop a white ceramic plate against a stone backdrop and is bathed in sunlight. The top corner of the image features the contrasting shadows of long grassy leaves in the sunlight

Radicchio orange salad

Not everyone likes radicchio, I know. If you are one of those people, you could also try making this with a sturdy variety of lettuce. Adding a handful of rocket/arugula to the mix would replace some of the bitterness of the radicchio.

Any orange works here! I really wanted to use blood oranges, but they’re not in season here yet. Stay tuned for that one.

I added some FODMAP friendly faux pickled red onion for a bit of onion like flavour. It is definitely optional, but adds another layer of flavour and looks delightful.

Although I highly recommend Meredith marinated goat’s cheese, you have options. Halloumi, regular goat’s cheese or an alpine style cheese are all good replacement options.

An aerial image of a radicchio, orange, fennel, goat's cheese and chilli maple walnut salad. The salad sits atop a bright sky blue ceramic plate. The scene is set on a white marble table surrounded by textured water glasses that filter gentle sunlight onto the marble

FODMAP notes

  • Radicchio is friendly in 75g (2 cup) servings per person
  • Fennel is friendly in 48g (1/2 cup) servings per person
  • Goat cheese is friendly in 40g (1 tablespoon) serves per person. I do recommend marinated Meredith Dairy, and it does technically contain garlic in the marination, but there as no full pieces in the oil (I never see any garlic). It works for me, but if it doesn’t work for you, use the Meredith goat cheese that isn’t marinated.
  • Walnuts are friendly in 30g (10 nut halve) servings per person
An aerial image of a radicchio, orange, fennel, goats cheese and FODMAP friendly faux pickled onion salad on a large white ceramic serving platter. The platter sits atop beige stone which is bathed in sunlight. The shadows of  grassy thin leaves create a pattern on the stone to the top of the image
An aerial view of a radicchio orange salad with fennel, goats cheese, chilli maple walnuts and FODMAP friendly faux pickled onion. The salad sits atop a white ceramic serving platter atop a stone backdrop bathed in sunlight. The shadows of a grassy thin leafed plant create a pattern on the stone to the top of the image

Radicchio orange salad with fennel, goats cheese and chilli maple walnuts

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Prep Time 15 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or oil from marinated goats cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard add to your tastes – I like it to be very mustardy
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup add according to your taste and how much mustard you add
  • Seasoning, to taste

For the maple chilli walnuts

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • chilli flakes, to taste (I used Korean for mild chilli flavour and vibrant colour)
  • seasoning, to taste
  • 1/2 -3/4 cup walnuts (see notes)

For the salad:

  • 1 head radicchio, washed and torn or chopped
  • 2-3 large oranges
  • 1/2 head fennel, microplaned or finely sliced I use the stems and greenery for colour as well as the bulb itself
  • Meredith Marinated goat's cheese, to taste (see notes)
  • FODMAP friendly 'faux pickled onion', to taste (optional, see notes)

Instructions
 

To make the dressing:

  • Add the ingredients to a small jar with a tight lid. Add mustard and maple syrup conservatively, and build up according to your tastes. Add the seasoning and shake to emulsify. Once you're happy with the flavour, set aside.

To make the chilli maple walnuts

  • Add the oil, maple syrup, chilli flakes and seasoning to a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Once the maple syrup is bubbling, add the walnuts and stir to combine and completely coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid is mostly thickened and attached to the walnuts. Transfer the walnuts onto baking paper (they candy as they cool, making them difficult to remove from the saucepan) and set aside.

To make the salad:

  • Add the radicchio and fennel to your serving platter. Dress them with the dressing, tasting as you go. Keep in mind that the dressing makes a generous amount and isn't necessarily to be totally used up. How much you need will depend on how big your radicchio is and your preferred level of dressing on a salad.
  • Once you're happy with how the salad is dressed, add the remaining ingredients. Marinated goats cheese doesn't love to be tossed, so don't mess around too much. If you feel it is necessary, you can add a bit more dressing on the oranges. Serve! Leftovers keep nicely for a day or two in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

  • Remember that the dressing makes more than you might need. Don’t feel like you have to use it up – it keeps well in the fridge and jazzes up salads, roast vegetables, sandwiches – the lot.
  • Feel free to add as many walnuts as you like/can handle. I have no issues with walnuts, so I add the full 3/4 cup. If you do have issues, use less. You might also need to use less maple syrup to candy them, if you plan to use a significantly smaller amount
  • Similarly – use as much goats cheese as works for you. 
  • I love adding my FODMAP friendly faux pickled onions for a bit of extra flavour and colour. They are totally optional, of course, but a fun addition.
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