Monday, November 2, 2009

Traditional Italian Style Grilled Radicchio

Radicchio is one of those interesting vegetables that so many people don't know what to do with. Most of us are introduced to it in a salad where it is mixed in raw to add some color to the rest of the greens and yet that is the worst way to eat it.

To me radicchio is the Jekyell and Hyde of vegetables; served raw it's bitter and practically inedible but slow grilled or baked in the oven with olive oil and salt it becomes a crisp and almost buttery sweet treat. Such a difference adding heat makes!

I reach for radicchio when I find myself tiring of a constant stream of green vegetables; its slight peppery flavor breaks the monotony. But be sure to buy fresh heads (firm when lightly squeezed and crisp looking leaves) or it will continue to taste bitter despite the baking or grilling.

I like to make grilled radicchio along with a mix of other vegetables, such as asparagus or green beans and then serve them all on a platter. Adding some minced rosemary when baking or grilling also works well. Chopped parsley or mint are wonderful garnishes too.

Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar

1 head radicchio, outer leaves and core removed, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
olive oil to drizzle
1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Place slices on baking sheet to accommodate all in single layer. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until edges crisp. Remove from oven and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar for additional sweetness. Serve warm or room temperature.



The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

I've never prepared radicchio before believe it or not. If the texture is like cabbage, as I suspect it is, then I know I'd like it for that reason at least. I'm rather curious to try it now!

Kirsten Lindquist said...

It's even softer than cabbage, and it crisps up really nicely in the oven. Hope you enjoy it!