Grilled Radicchio Salad

Have you ever cooked with radicchio? Until recently I have only had it in salads. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, radicchio looks like a small head of red cabbage; you can usually find it in the produce section of your grocery store. It’s actually not a cabbage, but a chicory, and it has a just slightly bitter, crisp taste.


Raw chopped radicchio you often find in those bagged salad mixes. But here’s the cool thing, radicchio is outstanding grilled. Something about the grilling on high heat transforms the bitterness and turns it even a little nutty. I didn’t believe it until I tried it. So good! Quarter the radicchio heads, coat them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, grill them until lightly charred all over. Chop them into salad sized pieces, toss them with dressing, and sprinkle on a little grated Parm or Pecorino and you’re there.

Do you have a favorite way of preparing radicchio? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Grilled Radicchio Salad Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


  • 2 heads of radicchio, quartered, so that each quarter has a bit of the stem end holding it together
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more to coat radicchio
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Pecorino or parmesan cheese for garnish


grilled-radicco-salad-1.jpg grilled-radicco-salad-2.jpg

1 Make the dressing. Put the salt, garlic, mustard and balsamic vinegar into a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil slowly until the dressing comes together.

2 Prepare your grill for high, direct heat.

3 Coat quartered radicchio with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

4 Grill the radicchio over high heat, uncovered. Keep an eye on them, as they blacken quickly. You want a little blackening, but not a cinder. When they’re done, move to a bowl and bring inside to chop.

5 Chop the radicchio quarters into bite-sized pieces and toss with the dressing and some black pepper.

Serve hot or at room temperature, garnished with grated pecorino or parmesan cheese.

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Warm radicchio, pear, and manchego salad - from Bitchin' Camero

Porchetta and roast radicchio pizza from Figs, Bay & Wine

Pasta with roasted radicchio from Ward Street Bistro

Grilled Radicchio Salad


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Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Jessica

    I like the addition that radicchio gives to salad mixes, but if there’s too much the bitterness overpowers. But grilling! Never would have thought of it. I don’t have a grill, but I wonder if it was slightly pan fried the same, nutty effect takes place?

    No idea. I’m guessing that the smoke from a grill helps a lot with the flavor here, so I’m guessing it wouldn’t be as good to pan fry it. ~Elise

  • Giorgia

    I personally do not like radicchio (my father is a fan of grilled radicchio), but I find it very good with rice. A well known recipe is “risotto alla trevigiana” (sometimes spelled as trevisana). Originally from Treviso (North East Italy), you cook it as a normal risotto. Radicchio must be cut in small pieces.
    @ Jessica: you should not put radicchio in a pan, but a small electric grill will be fine (just put a plate under it to keep your kitchen table clean)

  • nico

    Eheh, it’s very strange for an Italian reading about people that have never tried radicchio before. ;-)
    You use radicchio from Chioggia, but the best one is radicchio trevisano (from Treviso).
    My favourite dishes with radicchio are crepes with radicchio and Asiago (an Italian cheese) and risotto with radicchio trevisano and gorgonzola. Very simple recipes, but very tasty!

    By the way, I discovered this foodblog from a couple of weeks and it became one of my favourite! I appreciate people that transmit passion on their activities and have constancy for long run.

    Thanks for nice pictures and good quality recipes!


    PS: sorry for my bad English! ;-)

  • Erin

    I don’t have an outdoor grill, so tried using a grill pan over a gas stove, and even though I’m sure it’s nowhere near as good as a proper grill, still ended up with a pleasant salad unlike any raw radicchio salad I’ve had before. Thanks for the tip!

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