Little Red Salad

Petite Salade Rouge

[Little Red Salad]

C’est assez amer, vous savez?“, said the pretty salesgirl at the market.

Beautiful purplish-red leaves with a white spine. Oh, I knew they were going to be bitter and I wouldn’t like them so much and I would just end up pushing them to the side of my plate in favor of the baby spinach leaves I’d have tried to blend them with. But I had to buy it all the same, this little rosebud of a salad.

What can I say, I have a weakness for tiny vegetables — anything tiny really — and when they are heaped together on a produce stall like armfuls of flowers in wide wicker baskets, there’s no saying how long I can resist. (Actually there is: recent scientific measurements prove I can resist a full four and a half seconds before giving in.)

And now I’m thinking: if and when I get married, I may request that we be showered with miniature red salad leaves instead of the uber-classic rose petals. Hm. Would that be appropriate? or just plain weird?

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  • Hande

    Nothing weird with that, clotilde, we are talking about you, after all! You just have to ask Maxence and then see to it that it is the right season…

  • estelle2

    I descovered this salad not long ago and was surprised by its bitterness. In fact you need just a few leaves to enhance the taste of your salade mix. They work particularly well with endives (endives are so tasteless nowadays) and if you add a few leaves of mache you get … a symphony of colours and tastes…

  • naomi

    you could try adding in some raisins and/or roquefort or other blue cheese to the salad, which might offset the bitterness.

  • It wouldn’t be weird, it’d be pretty cool actually, unless it a sorching hot summer day. Then it’d just be slightly gross because the leaves would wilt and get all icky. What exactly is this vegetable anyway? I’ve never seen anything like this before.

  • Lyn

    Hi Clotilde!

    Wow!!! We are really on the same wavelength! Mini veggies and radicchio … please see

    Kind of uncanny, but then, maybe cooks on both sides of the Atlantic find their taste buds turning the same direction as Spring approaches.

    Love your blog. Can’t wait to see what we both write about next!

    All the best,


  • cheesy chilaquiles

    Don’t be radicchio! Let’s be seasonable about this and lettuce not lose our heads. I’ll leaf it to you, but I figure roses are for throwing and greens (even when they’re pink) are for tossing.

  • green

    maybe you should cook it. can you? i don’t tend to like raw bitter greens. they are cute though. is this post really just an excuse to drop a hint to the boyfriend? are you suggesting future bitterness if he doesn’t get the hint? ah ha, very subtle.

  • Joan

    uber-Clotilde! that’s all I can say!….

  • kelli ann

    cheesy: that is the funniest comment i have ever read! do i dare follow the link to your blog?

  • corey

    I think that it would be both very wierd and totally apropriate.

  • robin

    Make a risotto of it.. Cut it up, cook it down with onions and then add the rice. It isn’t bitter after it has been cooked down and the risotto is a pretty color.

  • Becca

    Go for the red salad leaves! Rose petals are such a yawn … and as June approaches with another four straight weeks of weddings, I for one, would find it utterly refreshing to toss salad leaves over rice, rose petals, or releasing butterflies. You might actually start a trend … I’ll suggest it to my daughters!

  • cheesy chilaquiles

    kelli ann,

    please do

  • Thank goodness I’m not the only one out there! I’ve purchased tiny beets, tiny squash and tiny pears just because they were so precious. I’m not particularly nuts about any of them! My friend wants artichokes in her wedding bouquet so red lettuce leaves sound perfectly lovely!

  • Cook it! You could sautee it in olive oil with some other, milder greens and a bit of garlic (blanch everything in salted water first so it’s green and shiny. or red and shiny =)). If radiccio is about 1/4 of the total amount of greens in the mix, it will be very nice – not bitter, but with a nice punch.

  • savina

    Radicchio also tastes very good cooked with bacon/pancetta. You can cut it in shreds and sautée it with pancetta (or prosciutto crudo) and a little chopped onion and then use it as a pasta sauce with grated parmisan, or, if you find the long variety, cut it in quarters and wrap it up in very thin slices of bacon and cook it with a little balsamic vinegar and rosemary.

  • Weird, and wonderful. That should make for some awesome pictures, too.

  • A radicchio leaf is also a great way to present, say, a Hawaiian Sunset Salad ( picture and recipe: )

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