Of course we love our children - of course! And of course our time with them is precious and fleeting and limited. But take it from us, kids, you want your parents to have date nights. Parents need time to recharge and reconnect without having to worry whether you'll overhear or see something you shouldn't.
It's spring break, and the kids are visiting my mom on the East coast. Two working parents + two weeks of spring break = thank goodness for Grandma. The kids and Grandma are having a great time. Guess what? So are we. Because we've got a solid week of date nights.
On our first date night we walked the mile down to fashionable Abbott Kinney Boulevard in Venice. We ended up having dinner at The Tasting Kitchen, a restaurant I'd been wanting to try. My pasta was fine, and Michael's pork loin was really good, but what blew me away was the radicchio salad. The slightly bitter magenta radicchio was shredded, tossed with a few smashed green Lucques olives and parmesan shavings, and dressed with a light lemony vinaigrette. It was astonishingly simple. I should have ordered two and passed on the bucatini. Next time I'll know.
Here's my version of that pure, delicious radicchio salad. Look for radicchio in the produce section near the lettuce; it looks like a small red cabbage, bright magenta with very white veins and core.
Radicchio salad with lemon and olives
This simple salad uses radicchio, an Italian salad vegetable in the chicory family. Don't skimp on the salt - it cuts the bitterness of the radicchio.
Ingredients1 head radicchiojuice of 1 lemon3 Tbsp olive oil15 green olives, preferably Lucques variety, cut into quarters lengthwise1 ounce (approx.) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler into thin strips salt and pepper to taste
Peel the outer leaves off the radicchio if they look bruised or damaged. Cut the radicchio in half through the core, then remove the core by cutting a little "v" around it and pulling it out. Cut the radicchio into fine shreds, about 1/4 inch wide. Wash the shredded radicchio in very cold water, then dry it thoroughly. (I prefer a salad spinner for this, but wrapping it in a towel and swinging it around above your head is much more dramatic and works just as well.)Put the dried radicchio in a salad bowl. Squeeze over the lemon and drizzle on the olive oil; toss thoroughly. Add the olives, cheese, salt and pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust to suit your preferences. I like my salad very heavy on the lemon; if you like yours milder, start by squeezing over half the lemon and work up from there. Don't skimp on the salt - even with the salty olives and cheese, you need it to balance the bitterness of the radicchio.Serve immediately as a first course or a light lunch.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings