Winter Chicories with Anchovy Dressing
- Total Time:
- 0 hour(s)
- 30 mins
We loved hosting Italian food expert Viola Buitoni for a signing of her debut cookbook Italy by Ingredient at our shop in Oakland, California. For Viola, this salad is a classic on her Christmas table, but we think this bright, crisp mix of colorful chicories can accompany virtually any main course.
Reprinted from Italy by Ingredient by Viola Buitoni with permission by Rizzoli New York, 2023. Photograph © 2023 by Molly Decoudreaux
Clean and separate the chicory leaves and tear them by hand into pieces that can be manageably eaten. Drop the leaves into a salad spinner and rinse two or three times until all the dirt is gone. Submerge the clean green leaves in water, toss 8 to 10 ice cubes into the spinner, and leave the salad to crisp while you ready the rest of the ingredients.
Soak the currants in hot water. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat until hovering your hand over it feels quite uncomfortable. Toss in the pine nuts and turn off the heat. Swirl the pan to sweat and lightly toast the nuts.
Chop the anchovies roughly. Grate 1 1⁄2 teaspoons zest from the lemon, then juice the lemon and measure how much juice it yields. Put the anchovies, lemon zest and juice, and the garlic in a blender or small food processor.
Pour three times the amount of lemon juice in olive oil into a cup. Start the blender and slowly stream in the olive oil. You will yield a dense, lovely vinaigrette. Taste and adjust with salt if necessary. You can also do this by hand with a small whisk if you do not have an electric-powered device.
Drain the chicories and spin them three or four times, pouring out the moisture that gathers at the bottom between one cycle and the next. Move the dry leaves to a salad bowl and sprinkle them with the chili flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss well.
Drain and squeeze the currants and add them to the salad bowl along with the toasted pine nuts. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons / 45 to 60 ml of the dressing along the side of the salad bowl, then toss with salad servers or clean hands until all the leaves are coated. Add more dressing if needed, keeping in mind that the leaves should glisten, not drip. Store any extra dressing for your next salad.