This was something we had when we were out at Nostrana restaurant in Portland, OR the other day and wanted to try at home. It has a Caesar style but a sharp edge from the radicchio. It’s not complicated but it does take a bit of time to prepare – and soaking the radicchio and baking the bread crumbs is very much worth it. We haven’t deviated from the recipe Cathy Whim has posted elsewhere on the ‘net, but we added shrimp – which, of course, is optional. We’d like to try this one again, so here it is for future enjoyment and posterity.
For a large bowl you’ll need: x2 small heads of radicchio, x2 cloves garlic (crushed and peeled), 1/2 lb shrimp (peeled, optional), 3 cups focaccia bread (cut into 3/4″ cubes), 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp white wine, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped), 1 Tbsp fresh sage (chopped), x4 or 5 anchovy fillets, 1 cup olive oil, salt, black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.
First, cut or tear the radicchio heads into 1-1/2″ pieces and place into a large bowl of ice water. Let them soak for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 and place your cubed focaccia into a baking sheet. Place into preheated oven and allow to toast until just turning brown – about 12-15 mins. – tossing them once or twice.
Melt butter in a small bowl and then add chopped sage and rosemary. Remove from heat, swirl to combine well and set aside.
When bread crumbs are brown, removed from oven and place them into a large bowl. Pour sage/rosemary butter over them and toss well to coat throughout with a wooden spoon. Set aside to cool.
Optional: In a small skillet, add some olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the peeled shrimp and a good grinding of salt and pepper and cook until opaque and cooked through – about 5 mins. Remove from heat and place shrimp into a separate bowl to cool.
Place 1 cup olive oil, mayo, white wine, red wine vinegar, crushed garlic cloves, chopped anchovies and a good grinding of black pepper into a food processor and blend well until completely emulsified.
Remove radicchio leaves from water and spin well in salad spinner to remove excess water (you may have to do this in batches). Place them into a large bowl and add the shrimp and bread crumbs over the top. Add the dressing and a fair amount of grated parmesan and toss well.
Serve as a side or as a meal onto itself.