Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Insalata Radicchio E Pera

Insalata Radicchio E Pera, another lovely recipe to consider for your Thanksgiving dinner, inspired by a fabulous salad enjoyed at Eataly restaurant. (All photos by Deborah Brooks)


With 5 days and counting, here’s another lovely recipe to consider for your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a recreation of a fabulous salad that I enjoyed at Eataly last week. The rooftop restaurant, Terra, had several delicious vegan options and this salad was a standout. I knew that I had to try to replicate it.

Is it exact? No. But pretty close and equally as delicious.

Now, if you’re thinking that a salad is not the kind of recipe you expect for a Thanksgiving food article, you haven’t tried this salad. Crisp little gem greens, slightly bitter chicory vegetables, sweet pears and earthy walnuts all bathed in a bright lemony dressing. It’s the perfect foil for a decadently high carb and fat laden meal. Somewhat like a digestive, which will definitely help prime you for the desserts to come.

Truthfully, I could eat bowls of this salad. It’s the perfect balance of flavors that make the taste buds perk up and take notice. I guarantee it will complement many of the foods served on Thanksgiving.

And if taste isn’t enough to sway you, being able to prep most of the salad 1-2 days ahead should. Here’s the game plan.

2 days ahead:
Toast the walnuts and crush to small pieces. Store in an airtight container

1 Day ahead
Make the salad dressing. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Wash and dry the lettuce, endive and radicchio leaves. Store with a few paper towels in an airtight container in your vegetable drawer.


The Littles Gems, radicchio and tarragon are from Country Fresh Herbs at the Wednesday Larchmont Farmers Market. But I needed to go to Trader Joe’s for the endive.


Thanksgiving Day just before dinner

Slice the pears. Toss the veggies and pears with the salad dressing
Serve on individual salad plates as a first course for a sit down dinner, or on a platter if you’re serving buffet style. Top with the nuts once plated. So easy!

Please note that the size of the heads of greens, endive and radicchio will determine how much you will need. I figure about 10 -12 leaves per person, depending on the size of the leaves. The inner leaves are smaller, so take that into account. The dressing recipe is easily doubled. Have 3 or more pears available. I toasted one cup of nuts but didn’t use all of it. They keep in the pantry if you have leftovers.

Wishing you all a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.


Insalata Radicchio e Pera
Serves 8-10*

2-3 heads little gem lettuce, depending on size
3-4 heads endive, both red and white, depending on size
1 head radicchio, you will only use part of it
2-3 Bosc pears, ripe but firm
1 cup toasted walnuts crushed (recipe follows)
Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)

Carefully peel off leaves of lettuce, endive and radicchio. As many as you think you’ll need. It’s best to use the crisper inner leaves of the little gem lettuce, which is why I suggest up to 3 heads. Wash and thoroughly dry. I use the radicchio sparingly as it is quite bitter and could easily overwhelm the other flavors. I also cut the radicchio into thin strips, whereas the other leaves are left whole unless the little gem leaves are very large, then I cut in half lengthwise.

Slice the pears lengthwise then cut it half or thirds, making sure to cut out the core. I serve with the peel, but you could peel them first.

Toss the leaves with dressing to taste. Don’t overdress; the dressing should just kiss the leaves. You can always add more. Add the pears and gently toss again. Plate on individual salad plates or on a serving platter. Generously strew with the toasted walnut pieces. Serve immediately.

*Serving size is difficult with salads especially for a meal with lots of options.


Lemon Dressing:
Makes ¾ cup

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp salt
1 T fresh grated shallot
Fresh cracked black pepper, a few twists
½ tsp agave syrup
1 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup Meyer lemon extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup walnut oil
2 tsp fresh chopped tarragon

Dissolve the salt in the lemon juice. Whisk in the shallot, pepper, agave and mustard until well combined. Slowly whisk in the 2 oils until emulsified. Stir in the tarragon. Taste for seasoning. Adjust any flavors to your liking.


Toasted and Crushed Walnuts:

1 cup walnuts, halves or pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Strew the nuts on a metal baking sheet. Roast for 7-8 minutes until they taste toasted which is the best way to determine if they’re done. Check on them at 4-5 minutes, as all ovens are different. Check often after that.

Let cool. Put the nuts in a Ziploc bag and seal. Crush with a rolling pin until small chunks but not powder. Put the crushed nuts in a fine mesh strainer and strain out any powdery residue. Store in a sealed container in the pantry.


Crisp little gem greens, slightly bitter chicory vegetables, sweet pears and earthy walnuts, all bathed in a bright lemony dressing. It’s the perfect foil for a decadently high carb and fat laden meal.


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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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