We recommend using Castelvetrano olives for this recipe, they are beautiful, buttery and bright green. Soaking the radicchio in ice water is the key to this salad, it removes all trace of bitterness from the radicchio.
-Break 1 head of radicchio into 1.5 inch pieces and soak in water with 5-6 ice cubes for 2 hours.
To make the croutons:
-Preheat oven to 375º F.
-Tear 3 pieces of sandwich bread into quarters.
-Place bread in food processor and pulse to coarse crumbs.
-Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet.
-Drizzle with 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then stir well.
-Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring several times.
-Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.
-Coarsely chop enough pitted green olives to measure a heaping 1/3 cup, set aside.
To make the dressing: Wash 1 lemon thoroughly, then zest.
-Place zest in a small bowl and add 2 TBS lemon juice.
-Mince 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic.
-Sprinkle minced garlic with sea salt and use the flat surface of a chef's knife to scrape the garlic and salt back and forth to form a paste.
-Transfer the paste to the bowl with the lemon.
-Add ¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper.
-Slowly whisk in ½ cup extra virgin olive oil and taste for salt.
To assemble the salad: Drain the radicchio and spin it dry.
-Transfer it to a large bowl. Add most of the chopped olives, 1 oz finely grated Parmesan and all of the dressing.
-Toss well. Add most of the breadcrumbs and toss again.
-Sprinkle with reserved breadcrumbs and chopped olives and serve.