Unexpected Ingredients: Five-Spice, Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad

Five-Spice, Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad

This is neither a fruit salad nor a vegetable salad. It’s a hybrid. Both fruit and veg. At first read, a Five-Spice, Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad may seem like a culinary survivor of the strange salad days of the last century. Waldorf comes to mind as well as its sickly-sweet cousin Ambrosia. Oh, and Jell‑O salad. I don’t know what Betty Crocker was smoking all through the Atomic Age, but gastronomically speaking, her recipes seem shockingly artificial today. How about Lime Jell‑O and Cheese Salad or the tuna and Jell‑O concoction from Betty Crocker’s Dinner in a Dish Cookbook (1965)? The spirited artifice of her combinations seem so foreign that we’re left to wonder: What on earth was going on?

Well, times have changed and so have our salads.

The key to updating a Betty Crocker recipe is to simply remove everything that’s lurid, Technicolor, and vulgar. What we’re left with is the idea that the partnering of unexpected ingredients – like peaches and radicchio – is worth exploring. I hope we’ve all come to a point that unusual combinations make us open our mouths before we raise our eyebrows.

Ripe peach on cutting board

Five-Spice, Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad with Calabrian Chiles

Besides, it’s not the peaches and radicchio that make this salad so unique – it’s the dressing. Which isn’t so much a vinaigrette in the traditional sense as it is a rustic, sweet-and-spicy coulis made with Chinese five-spice powder, Calabrian chiles, and mashed raspberries.

In case they’re new to you, Calabrian chile is a variety of red peperoncini from Southern Italy. It owes its name to the region of Calabria (Italy’s “toe”) where it’s been cultivated for hundreds of years. 

In my neck of the woods very (very) good greengrocers or farmers markets may carry fresh Calabrian chiles. Pick them up if you see them, I’m sure you’ll enjoy their unique (though blazing hot) fruity flavor. However, I’ve forgone the fresh peppers in this recipe and chosen milder jarred Calabrian chiles packed in oil because our gal Betty would never use fresh if she could get her hands on something from a can or a bag or a box or a jar! GREG

Chile and raspberries
Five-Spice Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad

Five-Spice Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Adapted from Yotam OttolenghiPublished

If you can find a fresh Calabrian chile, that’s great. However, jarred in oil varieties are terrific too. Look for them online.

Five-Spice Peach, Raspberry, and Radicchio Salad


  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 Calabrian chile-see notes (stemmed, seeded, and minced – about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 small shallot (peeled and thinly sliced — about 20 grams)
  • 3 ounce fresh raspberries
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound ripe but firm peaches (halved, pitted and sliced into ⅓‑inch thick pieces)
  • 2 cup fresh arugula
  • ¼ head of radicchio (sliced crosswise into 3/4‑inch strips)


In a bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, maple syrup, five-spice powder, minced Calabrian chile, and sliced shallot. Add the raspberries and crush them with the back of a fork until they are juicy yet still retain some rustic texture. Stir well; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the peaches, arugula, and radicchio on a serving platter. Drizzle the dressing on top. Mix well and serve.