Roasted Apple and Radicchio Salad with Meyer Lemon Horseradish Dressing is the “it” salad of the season, and a show stopper for Thanksgiving. It’s naturally gluten free, low carb, paleo, keto and whole 30 friendly, plus it can easily be vegan, so everyone can enjoy!
It’s always nice to have a new and unexpected salad to brighten up fall and winter menus. This one would be so pretty on a Thanksgiving table, and it’s a good holiday choice because it accommodates so many alternative diets. Between now and the holiday season I’d use it as part of a simple soup and salad supper, or on a buffet sideboard with an assortment of cheeses and breads.
Ingredients for this roasted apple and radicchio salad
This salad is complex and sophisticated, but not above getting a sweet hit from the apples and an irresistibly salty crunch from bacon.
- apples (I used Honeycrisp)
- bacon (thick cut)
- inner celery stalks
- watercress (sub parsley)
- fennel seed
- Meyer lemon
- creamed horseradish
- olive oil
The Meyer lemon and horseradish dressing is tart and zesty, as you’d imagine it would be. It’s a new combination for me, and one I’m sure I’ll return to. If you can’t find Meyer lemons (they’re in season!) then use regular lemons.
What are Meyer lemons?
- Meyer lemons are a hybrid citrus fruit native to China.
- They have thinner skins than regular lemons, and a sweeter, more mellow flavor.
- They yield lots of juice and are super delicious.
- Look for them with the other citrus fruits at your supermarket, they’re in season all winter.
Any apple variety will work here, but I do like to choose a crunchy variety that won’t get mushy in the oven, and one that has a red skin, for the visual effect. I used Honeycrisp. I’m partial to the way it keeps its crunch, and it’s such a classically pretty apple, too. I’ve baked it into cake and shredded it for slaw, and it always performs beautifully.
Fall is a wonderful time to rediscover salads, after the initial burst of comfort food there’s always a point where I start to crave something fresh and crisp again. I’ve got a good selection of fall salads on the blog, here are a few of my top choices~
- Wheat Berry Salad with Beets and Feta
- Kale and Butternut Salad with Maple Spiced Pecans
- Rye and Carrot Salad
- Harvest Salad with Pomegranate Allspice Dressing
Roasted Apple and Radicchio Salad
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
- 2 apples (I used Honeycrisp)
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 small head of radicchio, or half of a larger head
- 3 small inner stalks of celery, with leaves
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 handful watercress
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Meyer lemon
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp creamed horseradish
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Arrange the bacon on a baking sheet and bake until starting to get crisp. Cut the apples into thin wedges and add to the pan, tossing in some of the bacon grease. Scatter the fennel seeds on the pan as well. Roast until the bacon is crisp and the apples have started to soften and caramelize. Let cool slightly.
- Core the radicchio and cut it into thin wedges or slices, making sure none of the pieces are too big. Core and thinly slice the fennel, and slice the celery on an angle. Put all the veggies, along with the watercress, into a wooden salad bowl. Season with pepper.
- Put the dressing ingredients in a jar and use an immersion blender to emulsify. Taste to adjust any of the flavors. Lightly dress the salad.
- Give the bacon a rough crumble, and add to the salad, along with the apples. If a little bacon grease comes along with, that's not necessisarily a bad thing 😉 Drizzle with more dressing, and serve.
Make this apple and radicchio salad your own ~
- Make it vegan by omitting the bacon and adding roasted pecans. Use a dairy free prepared horseradish.
- Add some crumbled blue cheese, or shaved Parm.
- Substitute parsley for the watercress if you can’t find it.
- Other fall fruits like pear, fresh figs, or persimmon would work instead of apples.
- If radicchio is too bitter for you, you might try endive.