There are countless traditional Italian recipes with only a few ingredients, a simple preparation, and a lot of flavor. This of course depends on the quality of the ingredients used. This is a perfect salad for fall or winter from the region of Veneto. The city of Treviso (near Venice) is famous for its Radicchio Rosso di Treviso. This is the red cousin of witlof as it is known in the Netherlands and Australia (chicory in the UK, Belgian endive in the US). Since radicchio is hard to come by, I made this salad with witlof instead. The only other ingredients are pancetta, garlic, and wine vinegar (and a bit of salt and extra virgin olive oil if needed). The combination works really well together and is great for an appetizer, lunch, or light dinner. Here’s how to make it.
500 grams (1.1 lbs) radicchio, witlof (chicory/Belgian endive)
100 grams (3.5 oz) pancetta
2 garlic cloves
60 ml (1/4 cup) wine vinegar (white or red depending on whether you use witlof or radicchio)
salt if needed
extra virgin olive oil if needed
I’ve mentioned before that my Italian cooking adventures all began with the great books by Biba Caggiano. One of my favorite recipes from one of her earliest books, Modern Italian Cooking, is the one for sweet and sour pork. She uses pork loin, but I’ve always used pork tenderloin instead since it is more tender. This dish is original, delicious, and easy to make. It cooks quite fast as the tenderloin is cut into slices and it is best when cooked to medium rare or medium. Give it a try!