Proverb about Italian foodTricolore SaladHere’s a salad to brighten your day.  Insalata Tricolore is simple, colorful, and elegant.  There are no frills, just a bowl of leaves – so pretty and fun to eat because of the strong personality of each type of lettuce, and how well they complement each other.  

Lettuces for Insalata Tricolore

coring radicchioThe Italian term, “Insalata Tricolore,” means “salad of three colors.”  The green one is rich, peppery arugula.  The red is radicchio – thick, cabbagy and slightly bitter (in a good way). Endive is the third – white, light and crunchy.  In Italy, the dressing for this salad is just a drizzle of good quality olive oil and red wine vinegar, and a sprinkle fresh ground pepper – delicious.  Or you can mix up a fresh lemony dressing with a hint of garlic, as I do here.

Tricolore Salad from ItalyWhen you don’t have an occasion to buy fancy lettuces like radicchio and endive, try other tricolore combinations.  One of my favorite every-day salads is this trio: Arugula, thinly sliced red cabbage, and slivers of avocado, with the same lemony dressing.

tricolorein bowl

Salad of arugula, radicchio and endiveA salad can be so many things.  This one is about great lettuces in perfect harmony.

Italian Insalata Tricolore

Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A simple, elegant salad of arugula, radicchio and endive with lemon, dijon vinaigrette
  • Dressing
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • Salad Greens
  • 8 cups, (loosely packed) of arugula
  • 2 heads endive, ends trimmed, ¼-inch slices crosswise
  • 1 large head radicchio, cut in half, triangular core removed, torn into bite-sized pieces or cut into large, (1-inch) dice.
  • Optional Topping
  • Shavings of fresh Parmigiana cheese, using your vegetable peeler. (I recommend Parmigiana Reggiano)
  1. Make the Dressing Whisk all of the ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Salad Combine lettuces together in a large bowl. Toss with dressing just before serving. If you like, serve with shavings of Parmigiana cheese on top and Italian bread on the side. Enjoy!


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