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Radicchio is the beautiful white-veined, dark red leafed head is part of the chicory family. It has a firm texture like a cabbage with a deep bitter flavor. It can be eaten raw or cooked. If you eat it raw chop it up finely and use sparingly (it is commonly used in store-bought mesclun mixes. The bitterness mellows when you grill or roast it.  

QUICK IDEAS: grill it in olive oil; add to a risotto; use it the next time you make stuffing

Grilled Radicchio: Serves 2-4

1 head radicchio
2 tsp. olive oil
Sea salt
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1) Preheat the grill. Trim and browned edges from the stem of the radicchio. Cut radicchio into quarters. Rub or brush entire radicchio quarters with oil.
2) Set radicchio one cut-side down on the grill. Cook until edges are well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn to other cut-side, sprinkle cut-side with salt, and cook until entire radicchio is nicely browned and wilted, about 4 more minutes.
3) Remove radicchio from grill and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Radicchio Mozzarella Toasts: Serves 1
From Big Girls Small Kitchen

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 head radicchio, trimmed and cut into ribbons
2 scallions, white and light green parts cut in half lengthwise, then into thirds
2 slices wholegrain bread
2 thick slices fresh mozzarella
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1) Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook for 1-2 minutes, until they start to wilt. Add the radicchio ribbons and cook, stirring constantly, until they have wilted and turned a much duller purple.
2) Add the vinegar and the salt, then turn off the heat.
3) Meanwhile, toast two slices of good, thickly-cut bread. Arrange the mozzarella on top.
4) Scoop the hot radicchio on top of the mozzarella. Grind some fresh pepper and eat immediately.

Seared Radicchio Salad: Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side
From Big Girls Small Kitchen

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

1) 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.
2) 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.
3) Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, then arrange the wedges in the pan, oneof 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.
4) Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the garlic. Cook, stirring 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.
5) Remove the pan from the heat and drizzle the dressing over the radiccio. Top with the shaved pecorino and more fresh pepper. Serve immediately.

Balsamic-glazed Roasted Radicchio with Walnuts: serves 4-6
From  Good Food to Share

2 heads radicchio (totaling 10 oz)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and ground pepper
1/2 chopped walnuts

1) Preheat oven to 400. Cut radicchio in half lengthwise. Trim away the core (leave just enough to keep the leaves attached) from each half, then cut each half lengthwise into 3 wedges. Arrange wedges in a roasting pan in a single layer.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, walnut oil, and maple syrup. Whisk in the thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the radicchio and turn them to coat evenly.
3) Roast for 10 minutes. Turn the radicchio and sprinkle the walnuts evenly over top. Continue to roast until the radicchio is tender and the outer leaves are crisped and browned about 10 minutes longer.
4) Transfer to a plates or a platter and spoon the walnuts and the liquid from the roasting pan over the top.