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Winter Radicchio Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

Winter Radicchio Salad with Balsamic Drizzle
If there's a season, there's a salad.... By now you've probably realized we like salad. Winter definitely offers challenges in this regard but that doesn't stop us. Radicchio is a much loved vegetable in Italian cooking and we've even grilled it but it really shines in this salad raw with basil, balsamic and parmesan. As usual it is a quick and easy recipe. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
One head radicchio  Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn ¾ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Balsamic vinegar ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil Drizzle of 25 year old balsamic vinegar (optional)
Sherry vinegar

Cut radicchio in half through the core, then slice into ribbons from top to core and place in large mixing bowl.  Tear basil into small pieces and add to bowl.  Stir to combine.

Add enough oil to barely coat the salad, one to two tablespoons.  You can always add more if you need it.  Stir to combine.  Add ½ tablespoon of sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.  Toss to combine and taste.  You may need to add more balsamic depending on size of radicchio head.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add pine nuts, if using, and ½ cup parmesan cheese, then toss again to combine. 

Place salad in serving bowl, or separate onto individual plates.  Dust the top with remaining parmesan cheese and add a small drizzle of aged balsamic if desired.

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Best Grilled Cheese EVER (in our not so humble opinion)

Best Grilled Cheese EVER (in our not so humble opinion)

Mid September has hit us here in Sonoma County and while Harvest is in full swing, we're starting to think of those yummy and cozy fall days when the air is crisp and a warm comfort meal sounds really appealing after a summer of daily salads and cold meals.

This grilled cheese recipe is a family favorite, perfect with a hearty homemade tomato soup but also perfect chopped into smaller bites to offer as finger food at a large gathering. Super simple, it always delivers!

 Ingredients

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese

8 slices of Country Potato bread (or similar bread of your choice)

Dijon mustard

Butter (room temperature)

 

Preheat griddle to medium heat.

Combine all cheeses in a mixing bowl and mix until they are, well, mixed.  Lay out slices of bread on counter or cutting board.  Spread a small amount (about one teaspoon, or more if desired) of Dijon mustard on four slices of bread.  Divide the cheese mixture between the four slices of bread and add second slice on top to make the sandwich.  Butter top of bread on all four sandwiches.

Add sandwiches to preheated griddle, butter side down.  Butter the top of each sandwich while toasting on griddle.  Flip sandwich over when bread is crisp and dark brown, but not burnt (about three minutes).  Continue cooking until second side is dark brown, but not burnt and cheese is melted and oozing out the sides (about three minutes).

Remove sandwiches from griddle and cut diagonally into four triangles.  Serve immediately.

Serves four as a meal, or many for appetizers. And don't forget to store that extra leftover cheese in your trusty vault.

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