bitter-sweet radicchio salad toasts with cinnamon vinaigrette

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salads / sides / vegetarian

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BITTER-SWEET RADICCHIO + BASIL SALAD TOASTS |  BLOOD ORANGES, ROASTED ONIONS, DATES, PINE NUTS, GOAT CHEESE, WITH CINNAMON VINAIGRETTE // makes 6-8 toasts

1 red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into quarters
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea Salt
4 blood oranges, peeled
1 head radicchio, coarsely shredded
2 cups whole fresh basil leaves, packed
8 whole leaves Tuskan/Lacinato kale, ribs removed and coarsely shredded
8 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 fresh loaf of bread – I used a good cranberry pecan loaf
8 ounces creamy cheese  – something spreadable such as a soft goat cheese, burrata, ricotta, cream cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

/cinnamon vinaigrette/
1/4 cup sweet and syrupy balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the red onion with the olive oil and salt. Evenly lay the slices out on the lined tray, bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are crispy and golden brown. Set the onions aside and reserve the bowl to toss the salad ingredients.

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper.

Working over the salad bowl, segment the blood oranges and squeeze out the remaining juice from the piths. Pour in some of the dressing to coat the oranges and to mix with the orange juice. Add in the raddichio, basil, kale, roasted onions, dates, the rest of the dressing and toss until coated. Taste to adjust seasoning – the greens and basil leaves should look well drenched.

To serve, slice the bread into 6 to 8 thick slices and transfer to a sheet tray, bake at 375° until the bread is lightly toasted, about 6 to 7 minutes. Spread some cheese over each toast and top with the dressed salad making sure there are bits of blood orange and dates on each toast. Top with the pine nuts and serve immediately.

Leftover salad will hold well in the fridge for up to 1 day.

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