chicory salad with anchovy sauce and breadcrumbs

OMG this salad is so delicious, the recipe is a traditional Italian salad from the Rome in Italy and its usually served with bread on the side but I’ve made a crunchy sourdough crumb to go on top of it instead. Chicory is a tad bitter, which Italians love hence our love of the aperitif Campari, so you can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar to the sauce if you prefer it a little sweeter. This salad is fantastic with fish or cheese or if you eat meat it would work really well with roast chicken or lamb.


Serves 3-4 people


2 heads of red chicory (or 1 large radicchio if you can get it)
4 anchovy fillets (packed in oil type)
4 tbs of good olive oil
1 large clove of garlic
2 tbs of red wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf of sourdough bread plus a bit more olive oil for roasting
1 teaspoon of maple syrup or sugar (optional but recommended)


First make the bread crumbs by preheating the oven to 200c or 400f. Cut loaf in half and pull the insides out and pull apart to make smaller pieces. Lay these out on a baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and a little sprinkle of salt and roast till golden and crispy, about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on them. Set aside.

Next make the sauce by putting the garlic and salt in a small mortar and pestle and squish till you have smooth paste. You can also do this on a chopping board with the flat side of a knife. Next add the anchovy fillets and pulverise until you have the beginnings of a sauce. Transfer to a small bowl if you are doing this on a chopping board. Now stir in the vinegar and maple syrup or sugar then slowly whisk in the olive oil one drop at a time. It should then become an emulsion. I have also made it in my magic bullet, first I whizzed up the garlic and anchovies with a smidge of salt, then I added the vinegar and whizzed it up again, then I added the maple syrup and all of the oil, whizzed it up and it went really mayonnaisey.

Slice the chicory into long slices, I do this with a mandolin on the biggest setting, but a big kitchen knife will do the job too.

Place in a bowl or on a plate then pour over the dressing and add the bread crumbs. Serve straight away.

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