Carrot and radicchio salad with toasted sunflower seeds

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Carrot and radicchio salad with toasted sunflower seeds
There are more new subscribers to this column each week. Many of the newcomers send me personal questions and comments. The most common questions involve requests for special dietary advice. Having diabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight are the most frequent conditions described. Many want to know when a farmers' market is coming to their facility. Often, the facility already has a market, but the member may not know about it. I am an older doctor who likes to cook and am not an expert nutritionist or chef. I have personally cooked each of the recipes I share with you to see how difficult or easy they are to prepare and how they taste. Nutritionally these recipes fit into the usual dietary guidelines I would use when counseling patients in the office. The recipes aren't intended to be part of any specific diet e.g. “no fat”, “no carb”, “vegan”, “no wheat”, etc. They are simply moderate in everything (usually -- the gingerbread recipe from a couple years ago had a lemon glaze with lots of confectioner's sugar). Nutritionally balanced recipes eaten in an appropriate portion size can be part of almost any diet. Those who need very specific diets and help for their particular condition can get help elsewhere in KP online and at their facility's health education library. A directory of Kaiser Permanente farmer's markets can found at At the bottom of each recipe of the week is a link to over three years worth of my recipes. It's an old school .PDF file that isn't fancy and searchable. But, if you scroll through the seven volumes, I guarantee that there is something really good for everyone. If you have friends that may want to sign up, you can refer them to This week's salad could probably be made with a leafy salad vegetable other than radicchio, if you can't find it. I was amazed at the fresh flavor of this dish and the toasted seeds added a nice touch.


  • 4-5 carrots, grated
  • 3-4 big radishes, grated
  • 1/2 head radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw unsalted sunflower seeds, toasted in a skillet
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Toss the veggies in a large salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together, season, and toss with the veggies (Note the reverse ratio of vinegar to oil --- most vinaigrettes have anywhere from twice to four times more oil than vinegar, thus the light dressing). Mix in the toasted seeds which add some of the fat back you avoided by using less olive oil. Chill until serving.