Arugula is probably my favorite salad green, especially coupled with radicchio. It's fairly common to find these bitter greens on the menus of Italian restaurants, but the crispy shallots add a whole new dimension. It's hard to imagine the flavor of the salad could be so dramatically different with the addition of these shallots, but once you try them, you'll be looking to use them in other dishes as well.
That is, if you can keep yourself from eating them all while they sit draining on paper towels.
The technique to frying them is not what you think.
Rather than bring the oil to a high heat, you place the shallots in barely warmed oil, then let the shallots gurgle and burp in the oil as the temperature gets hotter.
Before you know it, you'll have beautifully golden, brown crispy shallots that are irresistible. A side benefit is the flavorful oil that remains in the pan. It's a key ingredient in the salad dressing.
Arugula & Radicchio Salad with Crispy Shallots & Shallot Oil
From "Gjelina" cookbook by Travis Lett
serves 4 - 6
1 recipe crispy shallots & shallot oil (below)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch arugula
1 head radicchio, torn or cut into strips
chunk of Parmesan cheese for shaving
Pour 1 1/2 cups of the shallot oil into a small bowl (reserve the remaining oil for another use).
Whisk in the lemon juice, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and honey and season with salt and pepper.
In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula and radicchio. Spoon the dressing over the top. Add a handful of the crispy shallots, and a light shaving of Parmesan. Toss well and transfer to individual plates. Top with more crispy shallots and Parmesan, if you like, and serve.
makes about 3/4 cup crispy shallots and 1 1/2 cups shallot oil
According to the cookbook, the key to the crispy shallots is to add them to the warm oil and raise the temperature gradually while moving the shallots briskly around the pan. The bubbling action of the shallots in the oil will tell you when the temperature is right. The oil should hiss steadily, but not so much that the shallots spit out of the pan.
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
5 shallots, thinly slicedIn a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. As soon as oil is warm, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown and the temperature of the oil is about 230 degrees F. , 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or strainer, transfer the shallots to a paper-lined dish to drain. Let the oil cool to room temperature.
Store the shallots in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Pour the oil into a jar and store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.