I have a love affair with radicchio. Its spectacular wine-red color always draws me closer whenever I spot it in the market and its unusual bittersweet flavor, especially when paired with sweet balsamic, always satisfies the crowd. If you are lucky enough to find the tapering version from the Treviso region of Italy, snap it up. But either version, whether grilled or roasted, and paired with this dressing makes a terrific side dish or antipasti. I occassionally shave fresh parmigiano on top or serve with some warm, freshly made ricotta. So don’t be afraid of this wonderful vegetable when you pass it by in the market – grab some and try it with your next meal. It will be sure to please.
4 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
2 heads Treviso or regular radicchio
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the broiler. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium heat.)
2.In a bowl large enough to accommodate the radicchio, whisk together in a bowl the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Quarter the radicchio heads lengthwise. You should have 2-3 inch wedges.
4. Drizzle the wedges with additional olive oil and toss to coat. Broil or grill, turning occasionally, until slightly wilted – about 5 minutes.
5. While still warm, add the radicchio to the balsamic marinate and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to marinate. Toss occasionally.
6. When ready to serve, transfer radicchio to serving dish. Drizzle with some of the marinade. Thinly slice basil leaves and scatter over the top. Serve and enjoy…