Chicory-Watermelon Radish Salad with Anchovy Crumbs

For the anchovy crumb:
1/3 pound (about 1/3 large loaf) Italian white bread, such as pane pugliese
1 (2.8 ounce) jar oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained
½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons anchovy paste
2½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
½ small clove garlic, finely grated
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
½ medium watermelon radish
4 cups ice water
1 head Little Gem lettuce
1 head Treviso radicchio
1 head Tardivo radicchio
1 head Castelfranco radicchio
1 small head Lacinato kale
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of about 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle

1. Make the anchovy crumb: Three days before preparing the salad, cut the crust off the bread; discard or save the crust for another use. Cut the crust-less bread into thick slices, and lay on a baking sheet at room temperature to dry for ideally three nights. (In a pinch, you can dry the bread for just one night but grind it a second time after toasting the crumbs.)
2. The night before, preheat the oven to 175°F. Lay the anchovies flat on a wire rack set over a small baking sheet. Set in the oven until dry, 8 to 10 hours.
3. The next day, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the bread slices in a food processor and puree into fine crumbs. Spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Place 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs in a small bowl and stir in ½ teaspoon of olive oil; set aside. Reserve the remaining breadcrumb for another use.
4. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the dried anchovies into a powder. (Alternatively you can crumble them using a rolling pin.) Combine the anchovies with the oiled breadcrumbs and set aside.
5. Prepare the salad dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic. Whisk in the red wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Prepare the salad: Using a mandolin, very thinly slice the radish half. Place the slices in an ice water bath and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
7. Remove the leaves from the heads of Little Gem, Treviso, Tardivo and Castelfranco. Remove and discard the spine from the kale and tear the leaves in half. Wash and dry the leaves well, if needed.
8. Make the salad: place 6 large handfuls of mixed leaves (about 12 leaves of each green) in an extra-large bowl. Place ¼ to 1/3 cup of the dressing around the bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the anchovy crumbs over the greens, and toss together using clean hands. Taste and season as needed with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of lemon juice and olive oil (about 1 tablespoon of each.) Place the dressed greens in shallow bowls. Pull about 15 radish slices from the icy water and tuck them into the greens. Divide 1 tablespoon anchovy crumbs among the salads and sprinkle them on top. Serve immediately. Serves 3 (as lunch) or 6 (as an appetizer), makes 1/3 cup anchovy-crumb, and ¾ cup dressing. – Adapted from Justin Smillie of Upland Restaurant in New York City, for Bloomberg Pursuits.

NOTES: Dehydrated anchovies will keep for up to 3 weeks. Anchovy crumbs are best the day they’re made, but will keep for a few days. Lime radish or other radishes can be substituted for watermelon radish.