I’ve been in the States for the last week and am actually writing this from my sister’s house in Westchester.During the last week I’ve visited three States in less than 7 days, and done so much that my head is spinning. It’s been mostly a time to visit family, and I’ve seen my mom in North Carolina, my dad in New York, one sister in Westchester and the other in Rhode Island. I’ve also managed to fit in two really successful book events (thank you for coming!!!!) as well as visits to agents, editors and publishers.
And eating. Of course I’ve been eating. Actually eating way way too much, which is not very surprising given the fact that I have to fit as much of the American food I crave while living in Rome into one short trip. The problem comes, of course, with fitting me back into my pants by the time I head home.
Some of my favorite new discoveries include fried okra in NC, fried pickles and something called a Cabinet (a coffee milkshake) in RI. So while I still have five more days Stateside, and am currently trying to track down six boxes of Girl Scout cookies to take back as gifts, I’m actually dreaming of eating only vegetables once I’m home.
This past winter I have been on a radicchio binge. I just can’t get enough of the bitter, leafy greens. The week before I left for the States I was absolutely obsessed with this easy salad which mixed the bitterness of purple radicchio tardivo with late winter blood oranges. It’s simple, easy to throw together and – after this two week binge-of-food – it’s the first thing I want on my plate as soon as I get back to Rome.
- One medium head of radicchio
- 1 blood orange
- 1 scallion, whites only
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt, pepper
- Chop the scallion and place it in a small bowl. Cover with the vinegar, ½ tsp of salt and stir well. Let sit at least 10 minutes
- Using a knife, slice the radicchio into ½ inch ribbons and let soak in water five minutes. Spin and drain very well then place in a bowl.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice away the skin and the white pith from the orange. Cut it into slices, and then into chunk. Tip all the pieces, and any juices, on top of the cut radicchio.
- When ready to eat at the scallions with the vinegar, and enough oil to taste. Toss and adjust for seasoning. You don't really need that much olive oil, since you also have the juice from the oranges.
- You may be tempted to add other things like black olives or chopped toasted hazelnuts. But for this salad, simple is best. Just keep it like this, where all the flavors really come together perfectly.