Pigeonhole's Radicchio caesar salad

Pigeonhole Calgary menu

With the number of new restaurants that open up in Canada each year, being recognized as the top spot from coast-to-coast by enRoute magazine in its Canada's Best New Restaurant list is a tremendous accomplishment, one that was bestowed upon Calgary's Pigeonhole this year. If you haven't made it out to the West to taste the small-plates and cocktails at this new Calgary restaurant, then you can try your hand at making this radicchio Caesar salad in your own home.

Chef's note: keep in mind that the radicchio is rather bitter, and the more dressing you have on the salad, the less bitter it will be. 

Caesar dressing

2 raw egg yolks
1 lemon, juice only
5 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco
1 tsp red wine vinegar
5 cloves roasted garlic
2 tbsp water
2-3 fillets white anchovy
2/3 cup canola oil
salt, to taste

combine the raw egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, red wine vinegar, roasted garlic and water in a food processer. While the mixture is blending, add in the anchovies and then slowly add the oil in a steady stream until the mixture forms a mayonnaise like consistency. Adjust it with more cold water if necessary. Once finished, add salt to taste and more lemon if necessary. Chill until ready to use. This recipe makes a little more than a cup of dressing.



1 loaf ciabatta
olive oil, to coat
salt, to taste
1 head radicchio
1 cured egg yolk, optional (see note below)
Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Tear ciabatta loaf into small, bite-sized pieces. Toss them in a mixing bowl with olive oil to lightly coat and salt. transfer to baking tray and bake until crispy, about 12 minutes.

Remove and discard the outer leaves of radicchio, and tear all remaining leaves into large chunks. Place them in a large mixing bowl, and add ½ cup of the ciabatta croutons. Dress the salad with about 5 tablespoons of dressing, or to your own tastes. Season the leaves with salt (keeping in mind that the garnish is salty) and layer them over each other to build some height on the plate.

Complete the dish by finely grating Parmesan over the top, as well as some cured egg yolk. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil to finish. 

Note: Cured egg yolk adds a nice, rich saltiness to finish the dish. To make your own, add a thick layer of kosher salt to the bottom of a container. Place raw egg yolks (as many as you'd like to cure), one at a time on top of the salt, and then generously pour more kosher salt over the yolks so they are completely covered. Let them cure at room temperature for 4 days. After 4 days, remove the yolks from the salt, lightly brushing all excess salt off with a damp paper towel. Let them completely dry, uncovered, at room temperature, for another day. When finished, store them in a sealed container at room temperature. They will keep almost indefinitely, and can be used to finish many different savoury dishes.


4 servings