Radicchio Salad with Cashew Ricotta Dressing

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Platter of radicchio salad with roasted beets, garlic, and lemony cashew ricotta dressing

A dear friend of ours makes a radicchio salad that made quite the impression on me years ago, so I recently asked him for the recipe, and he obliged. The good news is, it was even easier than I thought it would be.

Vibrant, fresh radicchio is topped with a creamy cashew ricotta dressing that adds a beautiful lemony, garlicky flavor to the salad. And then come roasted beets, crispy roasted garlic, and candied walnuts. Yum!

This is the perfect salad or side dish for the holidays and beyond. It feels elegant, boasts big flavor, and is ready in just 30 minutes. Let us show you how it’s done.

Walnuts, maple syrup, avocado oil, cashews, radicchio, salt, beet, parsley, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and garlic powder

It starts with roasting thinly sliced beets and garlic to bring out their natural sweetness. Hello, caramelized goodness.

Baking sheet of sliced beets and garlic for roasting

Then while the beets are roasting, we make a thick, cashew-based ricotta dressing to add richness and a subtle saltiness to the salad.

Bowl of cashew ricotta dressing

To add sweetness and crunch, we modified our fan-favorite candied spiced nuts to include only the most essential ingredients. And we prepared them in a cast iron skillet so they can cook while the beets are still in the oven.

Sprinkling coconut sugar into a pan to make candied walnuts

By the way, there’s a reason they’re called candied walnuts. No judgment if you want to double the batch so there’s some left for the salad after you’ve “taste tested” (for safety, of course).

Toasting walnuts in a cast iron skillet

Now the salad is ready to assemble! The radicchio is gently tossed with lemon juice, salt, and pepper to add a bit more flavor. And the remaining components bring it all together — caramelized beets and garlic, cashew dressing, and candied walnuts. Swoon!

Using a spoon to spread ricotta dressing over a salad

We hope you LOVE this radicchio salad! It’s:

Savory-sweet
Crunchy
Fresh
Vibrant
Versatile
Cheesy
& Delicious!

It’s the perfect salad for the holidays and beyond! Enjoy with other sides or nearly any main.

What to Serve with Radicchio Salad

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Plate of radicchio salad next to a bowl of cashew ricotta dressing

Radicchio Salad with Cashew Ricotta Dressing

Vibrant radicchio salad topped with roasted beets and garlic, candied walnuts, and creamy, lemony cashew ricotta dressing. An elegant, colorful side dish perfect for the holidays and beyond! Ready in 30 minutes!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Platter of radicchio salad with candied walnuts, beets, and dressing
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (or sub unroasted macadamia nuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 dash onion powder (optional)
  • Water to thin

BEETS

  • 1 medium beet, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 7 cloves garlic, peeled + roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp avocado oil (if oil-free, sub maple syrup)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper

CANDIED WALNUTS

  • 2/3 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon

SALAD

  • 1 head radicchio, rinsed, dried, bottom trimmed, unpeeled, and roughly chopped (~6 cups as recipe is written)
  • 1/2 medium lemon, juiced
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add cashews to a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Soak for 10 minutes.
  • Add sliced beets and chopped garlic to the prepared baking pan and toss in a bit of oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the beets are caramelized and the garlic is golden brown (being careful not to burn).
  • In the meantime, add walnuts to a skillet (we prefer cast iron) and heat over medium heat to toast for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, being careful not to burn. Then add maple syrup, coconut sugar, salt, and cinnamon and toss to combine. Turn off heat and allow to cool in the pan.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing. Drain cashews and add to a small blender (we use this small spice grinder that also has a cup for blending small-batch sauces) along with other dressing ingredients.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more garlic for zing, lemon for acidity, salt to taste, or nutritional yeast for cheesiness. It should be zingy, salty, and lemony with a bit of cheesiness. It needs to be quite flavorful, so don’t be shy!
  • Add radicchio to a serving bowl or platter and toss with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then add cashew dressing and toss to coat.
  • Top with roasted beets, garlic, and candied walnuts. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve.
  • Best when fresh. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. It’s best if the candied walnuts are stored separately (2-3 weeks at room temperature). Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with avocado oil and without optional ingredients.
*Prep time does not reflect additional prepping that takes place while roasting beets and cooking walnuts. It all happens in about 30 minutes.
*Recipe adapted from my dear friend, Barrett.
*Cashew ricotta adapted from Simple Veganista.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 274 Carbohydrates: 20.4 g Protein: 9 g Fat: 19.6 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 9.44 g Monounsaturated Fat: 6.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 286 mg Potassium: 579 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 7.1 g Vitamin A: 660 IU Vitamin C: 23.46 mg Calcium: 67.4 mg Iron: 2.82 mg

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  1. Karen says

    Another winner, healthy and with wonderful flavor combos I wouldn’t think of myself- agreed it looks and tastes like a restaurant salad! I am fortunate to have a year- round NW Farmers Mkt and radicchio is now in season, along with golden beets, garlic and the parsley. I used more beets, 4 small in the bunch. One change is that I didn’t make your dressing- after several previous failed attempts at your various cashew spreads/cheeses I bought some soft cashew “chevre” from my coop and blended that with the other ingredients and it worked great. While expensive, it is a real time- saver, too. Thank you for your recipes :)

  2. Jenn Buford says

    I loved this recipe on day one but the leftovers where insanely bitter! did my raddichio go bad do you think? Also, I loved these roasted beets and the dressing! Finally, a way to consume beets after trying numerous methods that my taste buds all rejected. Thanks MB!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Hmm, it’s possible the radicchio went bitter but we didn’t experience that! Did it smell or look off?

  3. Dana says

    I made this salad exactly as the recipe stated. Remarkable how I happened to have all ingredients on hand. This is my first time commenting on a recipe, and I’ve tried plenty of yours Dana. Lots of bookmarks I go back to over and over again. Why I’m compelled to write is because upon first eating this salad, it was not a big hit for me and my husband. He thought it to be very grown up. I found the radicchio to be very bitter. As there were plenty of leftovers, I ate it the following two days for lunch. It just got better and better. In fact it was delicious. I don’t know what to make of it quite frankly. It’s like with time the radicchio mellowed. Perhaps I would make this again using kale instead.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dana! Thanks for sharing! I think this salad would work very well with kale as well. Let us know if you give it a try!

  4. Julie says

    I just made this salad after admiring your gorgeous food photography, and it was delicious! Worth the trip to the store to get radicchio. I had to add some olive oil to the dressing to get it to blend well. But still Albert healthy ingredients!

  5. Lorena says

    If I wanted to use homemade ricotta cheese to replace the cashew ricotta, what seasonings would you consider essential to the dressing?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I would still add each ingredient, but just start with less since ricotta is already quite flavorful! Let us know how it goes.