Radicchio Salad with Garlicky Walnuts


An easy and simple autumn salad.

This easy recipe for radicchio salad is almost too beautiful to eat. Speckled Sorgente radicchio is soft and tender making it the perfect bridge between summer and autumn salads. Just like sitting in the sun on a crisp fall day, this radicchio salad is a little bit warm from the garlicky walnuts and soft-boiled egg, but still cool and crisp from the lettuce-like radicchio.

Radicchio lettuce

Radicchio (pronounce: ruh-DEE-kee-oh) is actually not in the lettuce or cabbage plant family, but the Asteraceae family like other chicories. You know what else is in that plant family? Daisies! Cuuuuuuute.

Radicchio is sometimes called red chicory, red endive or Italian chicory. There are tons of great uses for radicchio:

  • Roasted
  • Grilled
  • Chopped
  • Shredded

Bitter is better

Radicchio is having a moment. Just like the kale craze in 2010 (remember kale chips?), radicchio is perfectly Instagrammable in it’s many gorgeous shades of green, pink, yellow and purple. They’re fluffy and luxurious like dinner plate dahlias. Plus, they’re so good for you.

The bitterness in radicchio is easily tamed by adding a little bit of fat (ahem… see below radicchio salad recipe with walnuts and oil), or by adding heat like grilling or roasting. You know what else is bitter that we’re all addicted to? Coffee. Add a little cream (fat) and it’s less bitter.

This recipe is for those who want to admire the speckled pink leaves in their raw and beautiful form.

Substitute for Radicchio

If you can’t find radicchio at your local grocery or farmer’s market, you can substitute radicchio with red cabbage, belgian endive, romaine lettuce or arugula.

If you want to try growing your own radicchio, I recommend buying seeds from Uprising Seeds. Their seed is offered as part of the “Gusto Italiano Project”, a collaborative partnership between Uprising Seeds, Italian breeders Smarties.Bio, and the Culinary Breeding Network. They are also Certified Organic.

Questions about Radicchio Salad

How do you cook radicchio so it’s not so bitter?

Roasting, grilling or pan frying radicchio will help reduce the bitterness. You can also add a fat (think oil, butter, nuts etc) to balance out the bitterness.

Do you eat radicchio raw or cooked?

Both! You can eat radicchio raw or cooked.

Is radicchio healthy?

Yes! Some consider radicchio a superfood.

What is a substitute for radicchio?

You can substitute radicchio with red cabbage, belgian endive, romaine lettuce or arugula.

Radicchio Salad with Garlicky Walnuts

Servings 2
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 1/2 head radicchio
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 soft-boiled egg
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  • Roughly tear washed radicchio leaves into your favorite salad bowl. Set aside.
  • Finely chop walnuts. In a small frying pan, sautee walnuts and buckwheat in a glug of olive oil. Once they start to become fragrant, add minced garlic and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat.
  • Cook the soft-boiled egg. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Gently lower in egg and cook for 6 minutes exactly. Remove into a bowl of ice water and peel.
  • Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, whole grain mustard and season with salt.
  • Assemble the salad. Evenly pour vinaigrette onto the radicchio, followed by garlicky walnut mixture and the soft-boiled egg. Enjoy immediately.
Course: Savory

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.

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