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
- 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
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.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.