By Joanne Bruno | August 8, 2011

Photo: Joanne Bruno

There’s something about most bitter greens that gets in between my toes and under my fingernails and just rubs me the wrong way.  Endives, escarole, radicchio.  It’s a pretty odd aversion, especially since two of my most favorite things on this earth are arugula and rapini.  Both of which are beyond bitter.  Bitter squared.

That being said, when my CSA hands me a bunch a radicchio, though I could throw it in the “leave one, take one” bin and take a tenth pound of zucchini in its place, I always try to put it in a dish that will coerce me into eating and enjoying it.  This radicchio and haricot vert salad from Bon Appetit was my latest find. It pairs the bitter radicchio with sweet candied walnuts, which do well to cut the offensive flavor.  I added some wheat berries and feta cheese to turn the dish from a side into a main, but feel free to add whatever grain and cheese you want – barley and goat cheese would also make for excellent additions.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side dish, adapted from Bon Appetit’s Fast/Easy/Fresh

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and second year medical student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others.  Joanne is also training for her third marathon with Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For more information or to make a donation, check out her fundraising website.

  • 1 cup wheat berries, soaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 large head of radicchio, thickly sliced
  • 2 lb haricots verts or small slender green beans
  • 4 oz feta cheese


1. Put wheat berries in a pot and cover with salted water by an inch. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

2. While wheat berries are cooking, combine walnuts, sugar, 2 tsp oil and 1 tbsp vinegar in a medium nonstick skillet. Stir over medium heat until syrup coats nuts thickly, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer walnuts to piece of foil. Separate walnuts. Cool completely at room temperature.

3. Whisk remaining oil, remaining vinegar, and garlic in a large bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Toss with radicchio, haricots verts, walnuts, wheat berries, and crumbled feta cheese.

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