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three plates containing Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Blue Cheese, and Candied Walnuts and a small wooden board with blue cheese resting on a wooden surface with a dark green towel

Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Blue Cheese, and Candied Walnuts

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  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads & Dressings, Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Blue Cheese, and Candied Walnuts is a peppery salad balanced with a sweet maple Dijon vinaigrette.



For the salad:

  • 2 heads radicchio (about 630 g - I generally use Chioggia but you can also use Treviso)
  • a few handfuls of ice + enough water to fill a large salad spinner or bowl
  • 10.6 oz jar (4.9 oz dry weight) Castelvetrano olives, pitted and drained
  • 6 oz blue cheese, crumbled (Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton)

For the candied walnuts:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 150 g (about 1 1/2 cups) walnuts, halves and pieces
  • a pinch of salt

For the vinaigrette:

  • 8 tbsp (about 1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper


To prep the radicchio:

  1. Carefully slice the radicchio in half. Remove the core and discard. Chop or tear the remaining radicchio leaves into bite-sized pieces, as desired.
  2. Fill the inner-strainer of a large salad spinner (or colander) with a few handfuls of ice. Place the strainer back in the salad spinner bowl (or a bowl larger than your colander, if using) and fill with cold water directly over the ice. Allow to sit for a minute or two until chilled fully, then strain out the ice, leaving the ice-cold water behind in the bowl. It is important that all ice is removed before the radicchio gets added or you will be pulling ice cubes out for a very long time (I've done this. It's not fun).
  3. Add the prepped radicchio to the ice-cold water, ensuring it is completely submerged with water. Allow to rest for about 30-minutes or more.
  4. Strain the water, spin in a salad spinner (if using), and then use a clean kitchen towel to fluff dry the remaining water as best as you can.

For the candied walnuts:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and reserve to the side.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter, sugar, water, walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes, stirring regularly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until the butter and sugar have melted and the nuts are starting to toast slightly. Nuts can burn very quickly, so it's important to transfer them to the baking sheet the moment they have finished cooking. Using the spatula or spoon, work quickly to separate the nuts before they cool and harden. Reserve to the side to cool.

For the vinaigrette:

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Whisk to combine then taste for salt and adjust if needed. Reserve to the side.

To assemble:

  1. In a large mixing bowl toss the radicchio with the olives, candied walnuts, and vinaigrette. Plate the salad and sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top, as desired.


Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 439
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 504 mg
  • Fat: 39 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 30 mg