Last summer, I had a blast cooking up a fresh head of radicchio into these delightfully simple tartines. I photographed them, savored them, blogged about them…and then I failed to have another bite of radicchio for six months.
I love the taste and the texture of radicchio, and I love how it’s as good seared or grilled as it is raw (that’s a versatile lettuce for you!). It was great last summer, but you have to believe me that it’s incredibly satisfying now, when I’m in winter mode–that’s no mood for fresh vegetables at all mode. I make a sweet, thick dressing to balance out the bitterness, and I can’t think of a veggie I’d rather be eating.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Seared Radicchio Salad
Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side
Eat this salad with slices of good bread to help sop up the yummy drizzle.
1 small head radicchio
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
about ¼ cup shaved pecorino
Trim the radicchio, removing its outer layer. Cut it in half through the root, then cut each half into 3 wedges. If the root is very big, trim it down on each wedge with a paring knife.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, a pinch of salt, a good grind of fresh pepper, and the thyme. Stir well with a fork and set aside.
Heat a castiron pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, then arrange the wedges in the pan, one of their flat sides down. Cook for about 2 minutes, until quite brown, then flip and cook each wedge on its second flat side for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the radicchio to a plate and sprinkle with salt.
Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirirng constantly, until the garlic is just golden, about 20 seconds. Add the vinegar mixture, stir to distribute, and let it bubble down for about 20 seconds—it will reduce and become syrupy almost immediately.
Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the dressing over the radiccio. Top with the shaved pecorino and more fresh pepper. Serve immediately.