|For the chicory boats and nut topping|
|For the celery and fruit mixture|
|For the dressing|
For the chicory boats and nut topping
Wash the chicory, shake dry, and set to the side to use later.
Although the chicory and nuts aren’t needed until the last preparation step, you should prep them first so that the rest of the ingredients don’t have to sit too long before serving.
Grind the walnuts in a food processor or put them in a resealable freezer bag and roll over the bag with a rolling pin.
The original recipe calls for a nut mixture. We have only listed walnuts here, but you can use any type of nut for this recipe.
For the celery and fruit mixture
Wash and quarter the figs. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pits, and cut the pulp into larger cubes. Peel and fillet the orange and cut the celery into thin slices. Peel and chop the ginger.
For the dressing
Use the citrus juicer to juice the orange and then combine with the apple cider vinegar, walnut oil, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the celery and fruit mixture and carefully stir in.
We have listed walnut oil here whereas the original recipe doesn’t specify what type of nut oil to use. Additional information can be found in the sidebar under Alternative Preparation.
Sprinkle the ground walnuts on the fruit mixture and carefully stir in.
Place the chicory leaves on a serving dish and fill with the fruit and nut mixture. Serve and enjoy.
The combination of the slightly bitter chicory and sweet figs plus blanched celery and avocados give this salad an exquisite flavor.
Chicory: Chicory is an herbaceous plant that gives this raw salad a slightly bitter taste. Bitter foods are an important component of the cuisines in certain regions in Italy, for example, Liguria and Apulia, and also in countries such as Greece, Turkey, and the south of India.
Nut allergies: If you have a nut allergy, you can leave out the walnuts and instead use an oil of your choice to dress the salad.
Reducing the bitterness of chicory: If you would like to reduce the bitter flavor of chicory, it is best to purchase chicory that has a light color and, if possible, doesn’t have a green shimmer. In addition, you can cut a wedge-shaped piece out of the stalk as the highest concentrations of the two main bitter substances lactucopicrin and lactucin are found here. These two sesquiterpene lactones are also found in other lettuce species such as endive. However, bitter substances are valuable as they stimulate the release of salivary and gastric juices, thereby increasing appetite and promoting digestion.
Types of nut oils: In this recipe, the author Kristina Unterweger simply includes nut oil in the ingredient list without specifying a specific type. We decided to use walnut oil here as it contains a high amount of essential omega-6 fatty acids, most notably, linoleic acid. Depending on your taste preferences, you might like to try other types of nut oils (e.g., peanut, almond, or hazelnut oil).
Types of nuts: For this salad, you can either make your own nut mixture to use here or simply choose one of your favorite nuts.