Radicchio, Apple, and Squash Tempura Recipe

Radicchio, Apple, and Squash Tempura
Difficulty: Medium | Total Time: 1 hr | Active Time: | Makes: 6 to 8 servings

As part of an all-fried Hanukkah menu, Sara Dickerman came up with this tempura of cold-weather vegetables. The batter is light enough that it doesn’t overshadow the delicate flavors of the vegetables, while the saba adds a nice sweetness. This recipe is pareve.

Special equipment: You’ll need a deep-frying/candy thermometer, a pair of tongs, and a bamboo skimmer.

This dish was featured as part of our Bar Snacks and Hanukkah Recipes photo galleries.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 (12-ounce) can IPA beer
  • Olive and canola oil, for frying
  • 2 small heads radicchio di Treviso
  • 1 medium Honeycrisp apple
  • 1/2 small delicata squash
  • 1/4 cup saba, for dipping (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place flour, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg in a large bowl and stir until evenly combined. Set aside. Beat together eggs and water in a separate bowl until yolks are broken up; stir in beer.
  2. Make a well in dry ingredients, add beer mixture, and gently stir together until just incorporated (the batter will still be lumpy). Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-frying thermometer with 3 inches of oil (1/2 olive, 1/2 canola) and heat to 360°F over medium heat. Line a large plate or baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables: Slice radicchio in half lengthwise then cut into 1/4-inch wedges, making sure each wedge has a bit of core to hold it together; set aside. Cut apple into quarters and core. Cut each apple quarter into 1/4-inch wedges; set aside. Scoop seeds and pulp out of squash. Cut squash crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  5. Remove batter from the refrigerator. Dip 1 raddichio wedge at a time into batter. (If necessary, thin batter with additional cold water.) Tap radicchio on the edge of the bowl (the leaves should be lightly coated and separate). Carefully place wedge in hot oil; repeat with as many wedges as will fit in a single layer. Fry until radicchio is crisp and light golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from oil with a skimmer, place on the paper-towel-lined plate, and season immediately with salt. Repeat with remaining vegetables, but let squash and apple cook a few minutes longer.
  6. Serve tempura with saba for dipping or drizzling.

Beverage pairing: Edmunds St. John Shell & Bone White Paso Robles, California. The cold-weather vegetables in this dish have a pleasing, earthy sweetness, which will be reflected by the nutty, mellow fruit in the wine. But this blend of Roussanne and Viognier also has a spicy acidity that keeps the pairing from being heavy.