Friday, July 1, 2016

Arugula & Radicchio Salad with Crispy Shallots & Shallot Oil

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
kosher salt
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.

Shallot Oil
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 sliced
In 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.

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Mary Clark said...

I'm feeding a bunch of anti-arugula people tonight, but I am making those crispy shallots to go with my roasted green beans. Thanks!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That salad must taste really good! I love fried shallots, adds so much depth of flavour to any dish.



Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

It looks wonderful! I love arugula and in the past five years we've increased our intake 1000%. I haven't tried it with the fried shallots but that is next on the agenda. Great inspiration! Have a Happy Independence Day!

Chiara Giglio said...

un fantastico piatto unico, bella idea Linda ! Un abbraccio e buon weekend in Croazia !

domenicacooks said...

What a lovely way to dress up an arugula salad. I've been meaning to check this book out. How are you liking it?

janie said...

Love Gjelina-have eaten there a few times. I guess I need to get this book!

Trisha Thomas said...

Looks delicious Linda. I think I might try it today. It is steamy hot here in Rome (and I have no air-conditioning) so definitely need a good salad to eat.

Frank Fariello said...

When I first looked at the top photo I assume those were little bits of bacon—but I like the idea of crispy shallots just as much, perhaps even more. Nothing like the allium family to lend that umami!

Paola said...

Reminiscent of Vietnamese dishes, but I had never thought of using the shallots in this context! I will try this salad very soon, thank you Linda.

Claudia said...

I love crispy shallots - this is a new way to make them - will try it. They add so much to the salad. I adore arugula - those little peppery bites! Love combining lettuces - it just gives something for everyone! Perfect summer fare.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This looks like a fabulous salad, Linda. I never fried shallots this way and will try it soon.

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Linda - I could eat your salad every day. I'm with you on arugula - it is so common now that I want to use other greens, but it just so darn tasty and peppery and pretty - I use it in almost all my salads...

Ann Sageer said...

Oh boy...I'm not sure I could be trusted around the crispy shallots before they make it to the salad...heck, I'm not even sure they'd make it to the paper towel... ;) Thanks for sharing this delicious salad! This is most definitely going on the menu! :)