What Is Radicchio?
Happy fall everyone! I love radicchio and as we move into fall, the cooler temperatures produce a more sweet and mild flavor (though still pleasantly bitter) as opposed to the stronger flavor in summer. Radicchio is a member of the chicory family and a traditional Italian ingredient. It is crunchy and refreshing, full of bold flavor, very colorful and makes a beautiful addition to a fall or winter menu. Some people find chicory bitter but that makes it pair well with sweet and acidic ingredients. Cooking it takes a lot of the bitterness out if you don't enjoy it raw. Radicchio looks like a little red cabbage but the leaves are softer with a texture in between that of lettuce and cabbage.
How Can I Use It?
I often use it in salads. It is very hearty and can stand up to being paired with big flavors, roasted vegetables and bold salad dressings. Chicory goes well with punchy bold flavours like balsamic or red wine vinegar, blue cheese or the char of grilling. You can eat it raw or cooked.
Orange Radicchio Salad Recipe
This week I am sharing my Orange Radicchio Salad which is radicc-ulously easy to make (sorry, couldn't help myself!). The salad is refreshing and bright, a great contrast with a hearty fall or winter dinner. A great pair would be Pasta with Panna Sauce from Girl with a Spatula, a rich stew or rich roasted meat like duck confit. Radicchio and other chicories are at their flavourful fresh best in the cooler months so if you haven't tried it, now is the best time. And a bonus? This salad recipe will only take you 5-10 minutes 🙂 If you like orange but aren't sure about the chicory, you might also like this Orange Salad Dressing recipe.
Grilled Radicchio Recipe
Grilling is another great way to enjoy radicchio and really mellows the strong flavor. You can go simple with just olive oil, salt and pepper or kick it up a notch with a quick drizzle of balsamic a few minutes before it's finished on the grill. To make it extra rich and a little more unusual, add some mild creamy blue cheese. I've included the easy recipe below for grilled radicchio with cambazola cheese which is one of our household favorites. This is one of our go-to side dishes with grilled steak on a Friday night. It makes dinner easy because both are done on our gas grill making clean up a snap. This recipe can be easily made in your oven set to 400'F too. Just roast your chicory until it is fork tender all the way thru.
Do you have another favourite way to eat radicchio? Or are you new to this vegetable? If so, have I convinced you to give it a try?
Let me know below if you try either of these or tag me on Instagram (@wckitchengarden or Facebook at West Coast Kitchen Garden) and if you'd like these recipes and other easy kitchen tips and tricks straight to your inbox use the subscribe box in the top right.
Cheers my Friends!
Orange Radicchio Salad
- 1 Head Radicchio
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Large Navel Orange
- Salt and Pepper To Taste I used ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- 12 Large Green Olives
- 10-12 Basil Leaves
- Roughly chop the radicchio and toss with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Cut top and bottom of orange peel off orange and squeeze the juice from the cut ends over salad. Finish cutting peel and pith off orange and then cut in sections (supremes) or slices and add to salad.
- Add olives, tear and add basil leaves then toss again, adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Grilled Radicchio And Cambazola Cheese
- 1 Head Radicchio
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- to taste Salt and Pepper
- 4 slices Cambazola Cheese (approx 4 tbsp or 4 oz)
- Pre heat grill to medium heat.
- Peel off any brown outer leaves of radicchio and cut in half through stem so each half is attached to stem at bottom. Brush cut sides with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper (go easy on salt because the cheese is also salty) and place on grill, cut side down. Put lid on grill.
- Grill slowly until cooked through but still firm in middle, then flip over and top each half with 2 slices of the cheese and continue to grill until cheese is melted and serve. (Approximately 15 minutes total)