Fermented blood orange, whipped ricotta, walnut butter and radicchio salad

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Light, zingy, creamy and deeply delicious, this stunning fermented blood orange and radicchio salad recipe by Chantelle Nicholson makes a vibrant dinner party starter for blood orange season. Lightly fermenting the oranges offers a truly unique flavour, bringing a savoury edge to this seasonal fruit.

First published in 2018




Fermented blood orange

Whipped ricotta

Walnut butter

  • 200g of walnuts, toasted
  • 100ml of water, hot
  • 2 pinches of salt

Radicchio salad

  • 2 radicchio, leaves separated
  • olive oil
  • lemon balm, to garnish (optional)
  • salt


  • Preserving jar
  • Vitamix Ascent A3500
  • Cheesecloth


To prepare the blood oranges for fermenting, cut each in half and sprinkle with the salt. Pack into a clean glass jar and cover. Leave at room temperature for 3 days
When they are ready, remove the orange halves from the jar, reserving the liquid that been released during fermentation. Cut the skin away from the oranges, reserving for the jam, and segment the flesh of the oranges using a sharp knife
Place the blood orange skin (with the pith left on) in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the orange peel, reserving the liquid, then place the skins in the Vitamix with the olive oil and reserved juice from fermentation. Blend until smooth, adding some of the reserved cooking water if necessary, to form a thick paste. Set aside until ready to serve
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
For the ricotta, add the milk, cream, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs to a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar, whisk well, and turn the heat down to low. Allow the mix to split. When this has happened, gently pour through a sieve lined with cheesecloth sat over a jug and pick out the rosemary and bay leaves. Refrigerate the ricotta for 1 hour
Meanwhile, make the walnut butter. Reserve 4 walnut halves for garnish, and place the rest in the Vitamix with the hot water and a generous pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary to form a mousse-like texture. This will make more than is needed for this recipe, but walnut butter makes a delicious addition to other dishes, so keep any excess in a jar in the fridge
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 200g of walnuts, toasted
  • 100ml of water, hot
When the ricotta is ready, place in the Vitamix and blend until whipped and silky-smooth, seasoning to taste with a little more salt and pepper
To assemble the salad, divide the ricotta between plates, adding a mound in the centre and smoothing out to create a circle. Dress the radicchio leaves with a little olive oil and salt, then build the salad using the leaves and orange segments
Dot the walnut butter and blood orange jam between the leaves and on the ricotta. Microplane or finely grate the reserved walnut halves over the salad, and garnish with lemon balm if using
  • lemon balm, to garnish (optional)
First published in 2018

From New Zealand law student to the opening of her first solo sustainable restaurant Apricity (which won a Michelin green star in 2023), Chantelle Nicholson’s hard work and determination – especially in evolving free-from and plant-based cooking at the highest level – has cemented her reputation as one of the UK's most forward-thinking chefs.

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