Tag: Belgian Endive

Tri-Color Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette

cheese crisps

Complex salads are tossed salads that have more than one ingredient. A great example is the classic Italian Tri-Color Salad, which uses three peppery lettuces: arugula, radicchio and Belgian endive. Pair with a balsamic vinaigrette; the sweetness of the balsamic is a delicious foil for the bitterness of the lettuce.

cheese crisps

Oftentimes this salad is topped with shavings of Parmesan cheese. I thought it would be nice to share a little twist on that — Parmesan crisps!

Use 2 tablespoons grated aged cheese, such as Parmesan or Asiago, per person. Drop onto a lined baking pan and use the back of the spoon to spread into a circle. Finish with a little freshly grated black pepper, if desired. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool and add to salad or a bread basket.

cheese crisps

Watch the Tri-Color Salad Video here.


Tri-Color Salad with Balsamic Viniagrette

Here’s a classic Italian salad using arugula, radicchio and endive with a balsamic vinaigrette. Special bonus – cheese crisp recipe included.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Category: Salad



Cheese Crisps

½ cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
freshly ground pepper, optional

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons good balsamic vinegar
1 smashed clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Tri-Color Salad
2 cups arugula
1 cup chopped radicchio
1 cup sliced endive
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Shaved aged cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan or a cheese crisp



Cheese Crisps

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with silicon or parchment paper

Drop 2 tablespoonfuls of grated cheese onto the lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Spread the cheese into a circle. Sprinkle with a little freshly ground pepper, optional.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Place the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a sealed jar. Let sit, refrigerated, for at lease 30 minutes. Can be made a day in advance.

Remove the garlic before using.

Tri-Color Salad

Place the arugula, radicchio and endive in a salad bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and a couple of turns of the peppermill.

Remove the garlic from the vinaigrette, reseal the jar and shake well. Pour sparingly over the greens and toss.

Garnish with shaved aged cheese, such as Asiago or Parmesan, or cheese crisps.


Use just enough vinaigrette to coat the lettuce, but not pool at the bottom of the bowl. Save leftover vinaigrette up to 4 days in the refrigerator.


Tight Head Lettuces: Cleaning & Storing

Cleaning and Storage

Farmer’s markets are still providing an abundant supply of lettuces. In this upcoming video series, we look at lots of different kinds of lettuces and how to clean and store them. We start with tight head lettuce. These lettuces grow in the shape of a ball with tightly bound leaves. Outer leaves that are wimpy or bruised, pull away and discard. Give a quick rinse and you’re good to go.

Iceberg Lettuce


Let’s start with the ubiquitous Iceberg lettuce. This was the only lettuce available when I was a kid. We had it in every salad and on sandwiches. It’s not a bad lettuce, just a little boring in comparison to so many others that have more flavor and color.

Iceberg has a light green exterior color and is almost white at the center. The flavor is mild, which makes it such a perfect host for rich, creamy dressings like Blue Cheese or Thousand Island, a classic steakhouse salad with crumbled bacon bites!

Steakhouse salad



Radicchio is a bitter Italian lettuce that is primarily red with white veins. It is crisp, crunchy and can be served cold or grilled. I like to chop the leaves and serve along with arugula and endive, also known as a Tri-Color Salad. These three lettuces are bitter and a balsamic vinaigrette is most commonly served as the sweetness of the balsamic complements the bitterness of the leaves.

Belgian Endive

Belgian Endive

I’ve included Belgian Endive in this group. The leaves are tightly bound and cleaning and storing are the same as for Iceberg and Radicchio. The Belgian endive is a delicate lettuce with pale leaves from growing underground. The edges of the leaves begin to brown quickly. Buy and use within a day or two. It’s another bitter lettuce and can be used in salads or as a vehicle for a spread, such as chicken salad or a blue cheese spread, for hor d’oeuvres. In the video we discuss using the leaves whole or chopped.


To store tight head lettuces, place a damp paper towel in the bottom of a plastic container or sealable plastic bag and place the cleaned lettuce on top. Remove the air and seal. The Iceberg and Radicchio will last a good week. The Endive should be used within a day or two.

Watch the Tight Head Lettuces video here.