Radicchio with a Smoky Blood Orange and Maple Dressing Recipe

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On the Side A sourcebook of inspiring side dishesOrange and maple syrup work brilliantly as a dressing for radicchio, and capers are great at punctuating the sweet flavours. But the use of nutty rapeseed oil and smoked water (easily available online and in good supermarkets) takes things up a notch or two. It’s a finger-licking-good salad, as suited to a cool summer lunch based around a simple round of mozzarella or a quiche as it is to rich and fatty things like duck, pork belly or mackerel. If blood oranges are out of season, ordinary oranges work perfectly well.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • 1 medium, tightly packed round red Chioggia radicchio (about 350 g)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked water
  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Slice the radicchio in half from top to base. Cut out and discard the triangular core from both halves, and separate the leaves. You could cut the largest in half lengthways, but I prefer to leave most of them whole.
  2. Put the mayonnaise and maple syrup in a large bowl and stir or whisk to combine. Add the oil and stir or whisk until the liquids have emulsified, then add the sherry vinegar and smoked water and do the same.
  3. Finely grate the orange zest into the dressing, then slice the ends off each orange so they sit flat on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut down and around the oranges, carefully removing the peel and white pith. Slice the orange flesh in half, then cut it into segments. Set the segments aside and squeeze any juice from the peel you’ve removed into the dressing bowl. Scrape any other juices from your chopping board into the bowl too. Whisk or stir the dressing, season with salt and pepper and add the capers.
  4. When ready to eat, add the radicchio to the bowl and toss well, ensuring each of the leaves is well coated and the oranges are evenly distributed. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter if you wish.

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