Rosa di Gorizia, Apple and Horseradish Salad Recipe
An exclusive recipe from Frasca's new cookbook
The climate and the alluvial soil around Gorizia is famous for being conducive to growing a red radicchio that has long been cultivated in the town’s market gardens and surrounding agricultural fields (particularly Sant’Andrea and San Rocco). The radicchio looks like a rosebud about to open and is known as the rosa di Gorizia, “Gorizia rose.”
Indeed, bunched together, it’s tough to tell this delicate lettuce from a bouquet from your local florist—the leaves are an intense, bright pink color, almost magenta, with shadings of garnet and white. The area’s farmers have always grown this type of radicchio, and the region’s menus buzz with the first harvest, like they do during the short asparagus season.
We visited growers in late January, just after harvest, but there were still pink lettuces blossoming from the earth. For this radicchio, seedlings are planted in late summer, maturation begins in November and December, and harvest is in January and February.
To enjoy this recipe, January and February are your best bets, freshness-wise.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
YOU WILL NEED:
2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled
1 ½ cups grated Montasio cheese
8 heads Rosa di Gorizia radicchio
½ cup olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish, plus more for garnish
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
With a box grater, using the side with the large holes, grate the apples into a medium bowl. Place the grated apples in the center of each plate so they are spread out a few inches wide. On top of the apples, sprinkle the grated Montasio, dividing it evenly among the plates. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer stem of the radicchio to remove any tough brown exterior. Then, with a paring knife, cut the stem in half and split the remaining leafy parts by hand. If the heads are larger than 4 inches, cut into quarters. In a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil and all the radicchio. Rotate the radicchio a few times until the leaves soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drizzle in the vinegar, sprinkle with the horseradish, and season with the salt. Spoon the radicchio over the grated cheese and apple and Microplane some fresh horseradish on top of each plate. Serve immediately.
Note Rosa di Gorizia can be found at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City; look for the Campo Rosso Farm stand and its great chicories and radicchios. Or contact specialty Italian foods importer Alma Gourmet. Rosa del Veneto, another kind of radicchio, can also be found at specialty greengrocers and is a wonderful alternative.
Rosa di Gorizia with a Warm Guanciale Vinaigrette
When you want something more exotic than the straight-forward Rosa di Gorizia, Apple, and Horseradish Salad, prepare Rosa di Gorizia with a warm guanciale vinaigrette.In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine ½ cup olive oil and 1 cup thinly sliced guanciale that has been cut coarsely into ½-inch squares. Cook until the guanciale is golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
While the guanciale is cooking, cut the roots from 8 heads of Rosa di Gorizia radicchio and then peel off each leaf. Clean the leaves with water, pat dry, and arrange in four salad bowls.When the guanciale is golden brown, spoon the warm fat and the guanciale over the salads. Each salad should have 12 to 15 pieces of guanciale and 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan.
Drizzle the salads with ⅓cup of red wine vinegar, then sprinkle with salt. Serve without tossing, and allow each person to mix on their own. The salad will stay warm that way and not wilt.