This is my best attempt to replicate an insanely simple and delicious salad from Axe, our neighborhood restaurant in Venice with a cult-like following.  The beauty of the salad is in it’s vibrant organic ingredients and shredded easy-to-eatness.  This can be done by hand, but will significantly increase the prep time; a food processor makes this a breeze.  This is easily my favorite salad and one I make many times a week. I reserve any leftovers for the next day and often turn them into a breakfast dish with a crispy fried egg on top.  Divine!

SERVES 4-6 people (20 min.)

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 bunches of regular organic arugula, washed, dried and stems cut off
  • 1 head of red radicchio
  • 1 1/2 organic red OR yellow onions, shredded and deep fried (yes, i just said that!)
  • 4 cups organic olive oil (for deep frying onions)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shredded high quality parmesan cheese
  • Generous squeeze of balsamic reduction cream, like this one.

HOW TO: 

In a food processor with a 1/8 inch slicing blade, shred the onion then wash the the blade and processor bowl so as not to over-onion the batch of greens to be shredded next.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat 4 cups olive oil to high heat.  After about 5 minutes, check readiness of oil by tossing in one onion shred and seeing if it sizzles immediately.  If it does, oil is ready. Add onions and make sure they are completely covered by oil. Let them cook for about 5 minutes without stirring.  Watch carefully and stir occasionally, so as not to burn.  After about 10-15 minutes they will be nicely browned. Remove and set on paper towel to dry and crisp up.

Meanwhile, shred the arugula and radicchio (you will have to work in batches).  Combine in a beautiful big salad bowl.  I like the shallow large ones so the yumminess doesn’t fall to the bottom.

Drizzle desired amount of olive oil & squeeze lemon on salad mixture, toss well to coat, then sprinkle half the onions on top.  Generously drizzle the balsamic cream and parmesean and toss again.

** Reserve the other half of fried onions for side toppings in case guests would like more.  This is not an “onion salad” ; the onion is only an exciting surprise with the greens.

Serve with love.  xxx, Leah

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