Recipes – № 89

Grilled Radicchio

Bitter, smoky, sweet

Most radicchios end up as colorful additions to green salads but the thick, slightly bitter leaves are also delicious grilled, especially when dressed with a bit of salt, olive oil and sweet balsamic vinegar to balance the bitterness. I'm grateful to Tamarack Hollow Farm's Mike Betit for the recipe idea. Anything described as "soooo fucking delicious" grabs my attention and my daughter Lina clearly agrees. You're not going to get a stronger endorsement than a 3-year old asking for seconds and thirds of bitter leaves.

Mike recommends his excellent sugar loaf radicchio but you can use other varieties of purple, white or light green radicchio, chicory or belgian endives too and scale the recipe accordingly. Avoid thin, dark green leaves for this recipe. They're too bitter and dry out on the grill.

Makes 6 sides

1½ to 1¾ lbs of radicchio, chicory or endive

Balsamic vinegar to taste (about 1 Tbsp). Use the good stuff.

Olive oil to taste (about 2 Tbsp)

Fine sea salt


Cut the radicchio (or chichory or endive) heads in half lengthwise. Grill over medium heat, cut side down, for 3-5 minutes or so, until the underside is beginning to char and the rest of the head is beginning to soften. Turn over and grill the other side for another 3 minutes or so until also beginning to char. Remove from the grill, slice ⅓-inch thick crosswise and dress with salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. 

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