Balsamic vinegar works miraculously to balance the bitterness of radicchio. This makes a fine alternative to a salad; try some crumbled feta, blue cheese, or grated Parmesan and roasted hazelnuts or almonds on top too.
This is also a useful ingredient: Chop it coarsely and stir it into risotto toward the end of cooking or toss together with freshly cooked pasta with some olive oil and Parmesan. Stir it into Tomato and Bread Salad (page 61) or combine it with sliced steamed green beans or cooked cannellini beans.
Other vegetables you can use: endive, chicory, escarole, or romaine lettuce
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Total Time: 15 Minutes
- 4 small or 2 large heads radicchio (about 1 pound)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare a charcoal or gas grill or turn on the broiler for moderately high heat; put the rack about 4 inches from the heat source.
- Halve or quarter the radicchio lengthwise, depending on their size. Rub or brush them with the oil, taking care to keep the wedges intact. Whisk the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
- the vinegar mixture. Cook until just starting to crisp and char around the edges, another couple of minutes. Transfer to a plate or platter and sprinkle with salt and lots of black pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.