This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite places to eat salad and cheese, both. Hazelnut oil may be hard to find, but it is worth seeking out for this light, puckering vinaigrette. I like this oil because it’s made from roasted nuts which brings a more rounded nut flavor to the fore. Also, make sure you get a true aged gouda for this recipe. No red wax domestic stuff here.
Core the radicchio and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Fill a large bowl with cold water and dissolve 1 tablespoon of salt into the water. Let the radicchio leaves soak in the salt water for at least 20 minutes, but up to 1 hour. This will blunt the bitterness in the leaves just a bit (if you happen to like the bitterness, as I do, you can skip this step).
To make the dressing, combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, remaining teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Mix until combined well. Slowly drizzle in the hazelnut oil, whisking all the while, until the mixture is emulsified.
To assemble the salad, drain the radicchio and spin in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Combine with the olives, hazelnuts, and gouda, and toss a few times to distribute evenly. Top with dressing and toss until evenly coated. Add the croutons last. Serve immediately. Savor with delight and gratitude.