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radicchio and romaine salad with creme fraiche

Radicchio and Romaine Salad with Crème Fraîche Vinaigrette

This refreshing crisp salad of chopped greens with an abundance of radicchio and romaine is doused with a savory creme fraiche vinaigrette. I love how the creamy dressing soothes the sharpness of the radicchio. It’s laced with fragrant Meyer lemon juice, and a punch of garlic gives it a sturdy backbone.

Note: I like to serve this salad chilled, so it’s an ideal dish to pair with hearty roasted meats in the middle of winter.

Serves 4-6



1 Head Radicchio (Rosso di Treviso works well here because the leaves resemble the shape of romaine.)

1 Head Romaine Lettuce

3 Tablespoons lemon juice (we use Meyer lemons when we can find them)

1/2 Teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 Cup Crème fraîche

1 Clove garlic, grated on a Microplane

3 Tablespoons chives, chopped

2 Teaspoons freshly ground pepper

2 Teaspoons Maldon sea salt for garnish (optional, substitute with 1 teaspoon regular sea salt)


  1. Chop the radicchio and romaine into 2-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl or salad spinner bowl and cover with water and 1 tray of ice cubes. Let chill for at least 15 minutes or until you are ready to serve the salad.
  2. Stir the lemon juice with the salt until the salt has dissolved, then whisk in the crème fraîche and garlic until smooth.
  3. Drain the radicchio and romaine and spin dry in a salad spinner or spread on a kitchen towel and gently blot the leaves dry.
  4. Put the salad greens in a large bowl and add half of the vinaigrette. Toss gently with your hands until all the leaves are coated with a light sheen of white. Add more of the vinaigrette if needed. 
  5. Loosely mound the dressed salad on a large serving plate and drizzle a bit of the remaining vinaigrette over the salad (you’ll have extra left, which keeps for a week in the fridge). 
  6. Sprinkle the chives, pepper, and the Maldon sea salt over the salad and serve while still chilled.
  • Author: Bruce COLE