Leah Brooks is a cooking enthusiast, cookbook author, and former director of a children’s cooking school in San Francisco. By making cooking fun, approachable, and healthy, Leah is changing the way kids (and adults!) see food by weaving seasonal ingredients into flavorful, memorable meals. Leah looks forward to helping the community create delicious meals from the bounty of Skagit Valley farm stands.

Radicchio Caesar Salad (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

Photograph by Charity Burggraaf

Ingredients For the dressing:

 ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon), plus more as needed 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

6 anchovy filets, minced, plus more to taste 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 

Pinch of ground cayenne pepper Freshly ground black pepper  

1 large egg yolk or 1 tablespoon mayonnaise* 

¼ cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed, avocado, or canola), plus more as needed**

 ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

 Kosher salt

For the breadcrumbs:

 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter 

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

½ cup breadcrumbs (from 1 loaf wheat bread) or panko 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 For the salad: 

1 head radicchio (such as Lusia, Rosalba, or Castelfranco), torn into bite-size pieces 

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Skagit grown ingredient options: 

Waxwing Farm radicchio, Water Tank Bakery Skagit Wheat Batard bread, Rare Breed Preservation Project eggs


  • To make the dressing, in a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, anchovy, mustard, cayenne, black pepper, and egg yolk until thoroughly combined.
  • In a measuring cup, mix the oils and then slowly pour it into the bowl while whisking to emulsify. 
  • Dip a radicchio leaf into the dressing to taste and add salt if needed (the anchovy may provide enough salt), as well as additional black pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil as needed.
  • Transfer the dressing to a container and set both the dressing and the bowl aside. 
  • To make the breadcrumbs, in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter along with the olive oil. 
  • Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the breadcrumbs to a plate and add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  • To assemble the salad, add the radicchio to the large bowl, along with ¼ cup of the dressing, half of the breadcrumbs, and the parmesan.
  • Toss until all the leaves are coated in the dressing.
  • Check for seasoning, adding more salt, black pepper, and/or lemon juice until it tastes incredible.
  • Serve with additional parmesan, breadcrumbs, and black pepper on top.


*If you aren’t comfortable with eating raw egg yolk, replace it with 1 tablespoon of mayo. **Replacing some of the olive oil with a neutral oil makes it more compatible with the bitterness of the radicchio. If you’re using romaine lettuce instead, replace the neutral oil with additional olive oil.