Roasted Garlic and Anchovies Make NC Chef's Teddy Diggs Fall Radicchio Salad Recipe a Winner

Updated: August 13, 2024

When North Carolina Chef Teddy Diggs, owner of Coronato Pizza in Carrboro, gave me his recipe for radicchio salad with his homemade Caesar salad to make at home, I had no idea I would become such a big fan of anchovies.

Anchovies are the fish that make most people go, "Ewww!" But, the little fish has some significant health benefits. In fact, I was curious if I had eaten anchovies before buying them for this recipe.

Radicchio Salad with Anchovy and Roasted Garlic Dressing

Chef Diggs, whose accolades go from cooking at the White House to studying under Chefs in Italy to working in high-end hotels, has brought Roman-style pizza to the South. He doesn't serve pizza with anchovies on the menu, but his fall salad, dressed with roasted garlic and anchovy dressing, will make you an anchovy lover, too. I promise.

Chef Teddy Diggs of Coronoto Pizza

When I made the salad, I used romaine lettuce because I could not find radicchio in August. Chef Diggs told me that romaine or even tender kale would be suitable home substitutes because, for the home chef,  radicchio is only sometimes in your grocery store. In addition, the bitterness of the lettuce complements the saltiness and boldness of the anchovies and roasted garlic in the dressing.

Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Make an Italian Caesar Dressing. This salad is with romaine lettuce

Roasting the garlic is also crucial to giving this salad dressing recipe with anchovies another dimension of flavor. He told me that many Caesar dressings use garlic, typically fresh garlic cloves. He believes roasting the garlic enhances the taste of this homemade Caesar dressing even more.

Chef Diggs likes to use anchovies from Italy's Amalfi Coast packed in oil. You can use salted anchovies, but they must be rinsed for about twenty minutes before blending them into the dressing. I went to Whole Foods Prime to buy my anchovies. I could not find any from Italy, so I put some from Spain in my cart, but in the end, when they arrived home, my anchovies were substituted for Reese's flat fillets of anchovies imported from Morocco. They worked, and I loved the classic Caesar dressing with the anchovies. Typically, Chef Diggs recommends the Delfino brand for his salad. 

anchovy fillets by Reese

Delfino Anchovy fillets from Amalfi Coast

This salad serves four, but I must admit that I ate the entire salad for lunch. It was that good. I want to make it again with the radicchio for fall, or better yet, I may just go to Carrboro to Coronato Pizza instead.

radicchio salad with delfino anchovy fillets

Coronato Pizza's Fall Radicchio Salad with Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Dressing (The Better Caesar Dressing)

● 2 heads of roasted garlic
● 6 filet oil-packed anchovy or 4 salted anchovies rinsed and soaked in water
● 1/8 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for garnishing
● 1 egg yolks
● 1 1⁄2 cups blended oil (80 % olive oil/ 20% canola oil)
● 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
● 2 tablespoons lemon juice
● 1⁄4 cup water
● Kosher salt as needed
● 12 to 14 ounces radicchio (5 red-leaf endives, 3 long Treviso or 1 large round radicchio di Chioggia, or a
mixture), cored and cut into 1/2-inch-wide slivers, washed and dried
● Extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, and 1⁄2 lemon as needed for dressing the salad
Note: I substituted Romaine for Radicchio. Tender Kate is also a substitute.

For the dressing:
Combine all roasted garlic cloves, anchovies, Parmigiano cheese, egg yolk, vinegar, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth. While the food processor is running, drizzle in the oil. The mixture will begin to emulsify and thicken. Use the water to adjust the consistency of the dressing as desired. Season with salt. Reserve the dressing until use.

For the salad:
Place the cleaned radicchio in a mixing bowl and spoon about a 1⁄2 cup of the dressing over the lettuce. Crack fresh black pepper over the bowl, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and half of a lemon juice, or about 2 tablespoons. Mix ingredients together thoroughly.
Plate the dressed salad evenly between 5 plates and finish with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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