Red Salad: Radicchio with Pomegranate Chile Vinaigrette

Red Salad with Radicchio and Pomegranate Chile Vinaigrette

You could pop a bottle of bubbly or make something sweet and chocolatey for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day. Of course you could. I bet you’ll find a lot of chocolate inspiration on the blogs today. But you can have chocolate pretty much anytime you want. Wouldn’t something a bit healthier say “I love you” even better? Try this Red Salad with Radicchio and Pomegranate Red Chile Flake Vinaigrette. Because nothing says be mine (for a very long time) like a big plate of veggies. Romantic red veggies.

I’m here to convince you that this Red Salad with radicchio and pomegranate really sets the mood. It has big bold flavors, but couldn’t be more simple.

Which is why I think it’s a great beginning to a romantic Valentine meal. Red is a passionate color, that much is obvious. However it’s the bitter/sweet flavors in the combination of radicchio and pomegranate that really enlivens the palate for the culinary (and other) adventures to come. After all, who wants a sleepy palate during the most romantic meal of the year?

So go ahead, arouse those taste buds with a hit of spicy heat! This Valentine salad has just enough chile pepper punch to make chocolate seem like a complete waste of romantic time.

Red Salad

The devil (so to speak) is in the details of this Red Salad. Bitter flavors shine with just a touch of salt, so I finished the salad with Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes. They’re a blend of dried and ground hibiscus flowers and delicate Australian pyramid-shaped salt crystals. I was sent a sample late last year and I’ve been saving it for this red salad on this most red holiday.

Happy Valentine’s Day. GREG

Red Salad with Radicchio and Pomegranate Chili Vinaigrette

Radicchio Salad with Pomegranate Chile Vinaigrette 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Source Inspired by Chris CostentinoPublished
Radicchio Salad with Pomegranate Chile Vinaigrette


  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup mild flavored oil (such as grapeseed)
  • ½ lemon (juice only)
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (plus more to finish)
  • 2 small heads radicchio
  • 1 pomegranate
  • ½ cup pistachio nuts (shelled and toasted)
  • pink salt (to taste) such as Wild Hibiscus Pyramid Salt Flakes


Make the vinaigrette: Combine the red wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses and chili flakes a blender or a mini food processor. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in both oils. Turn the machine off and stir in the lemon juice and sugar; season with salt and black pepper. Use right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Shake well before using.

Prep the radicchio: Halve each head of radicchio through the core. Remove the core from each half by making a v‑shaped cut on either side of the core; discard core. Cut the radicchio crosswise into ½‑inch ribbons, placing them into a large bowl; set aside.

Remove the seeds from the pomegranate: Halve the pomegranate crosswise. Working over a large bowl filled halfway with water, place the fruit half in your hand with the exposed seeds facing down and your finger spread wide. Using a wooden spoon, tap firmly on the pomegranate to release the seeds (try to miss your fingers). Tear or cut of finished sections until all the seeds are removed. Strain the seeds, removing any pith of skin with your hands.

Make the salad: Add the pomegranate seeds and pistachio nuts to the bowl with the radicchio ribbons. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of the prepared vinaigrette over the top; toss to combine.

Serve immediately on individual plates. Finish with a pinch of pink salt and a grind of black pepper.