Romaine and Radicchio Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries recipe

Romaine and Radicchio Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries

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For this salad, I use romaine lettuce and radicchio, which is a variety of leaf-chicory. Its peppery flavor combines perfectly with the sweet taste of apples and dried cranberries. A creamy buttermilk dressing pulls it all together.

How to Prepare the Radicchio

Remove and discard the outer leaves of the radicchio. Rinse the surface and blot dry with a paper towel. Cut it into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice the radicchio crosswise into 1/2-inch ribbons.

Sliced Radicchio


  • It’s important to use real buttermilk in this dressing rather than a buttermilk substitute such as vinegar in milk. Real buttermilk is thicker and tangier, and it gives the dressing a creamy, rich consistency.
  • Any leftover buttermilk will last in the refrigerator for about a week or so. It can also be frozen for later use. I like to measure it out in 1/2-cup portions and freeze it in resealable plastic bags. Frozen buttermilk should last about 3 months. It will separate when thawed, but once whisked, it will work well in baked goods.
  • When dressing the salad, pour on less than what you think you’ll need. Toss the salad and then taste it. You can always add more, but if you put on too much, it can get soggy.
  • I often add iceberg lettuce to my green leaf salads for color and crunch. I like the contrast in texture, and even though it doesn’t have as much nutritional value as other types of lettuce, it does contain some vitamins and minerals.

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Romaine and Radicchio Salad with Apples and Dried Cranberries

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

Salad Ingredients

  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups iceberg lettuce, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup radicchio, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1 large red apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves


Wash and dry your apple, but don’t cut it until you’re almost ready to serve the salad so that it doesn’t turn brown.

In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry with a clean towel or use a salad spinner to remove as much water as possible. This prevents any water droplets from diluting the dressing.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the apple slices to the salad and toss with the dressing.

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