This Roasted Radicchio Wedge Salad is a new take on a classic restaurant dish. Radicchio is roasted until just tender, then topped with a balsamic vinegar reduction, walnuts, blue cheese and parsley.
I am not the type of person that goes to the grocery store without a plan (especially now). I have a buttoned up, triple-checked-for-accuracy grocery list divided into separate “work” and “personal” columns, in order of where each item is located in the store.
Specific brands of products and sizes/varieties of fruits and vegetables are noted. On the back of the list is a meal plan for the week, outlining which entree and side dishes we will eat each night.
There is one exception to this meticulousness. Sometimes while meal planning, I find myself thinking, “I can’t eat any more butternut squash noodles or maple glazed brussels sprouts – I need to find a new vegetable to make. But wait a minute, what types of vegetables are there, even?”
My mind literally draws a blank as to what types of vegetables are even available for consumption, so I’ll just write on the meal plan (and corresponding grocery list) “TBD Vegetable.”
This is the one thing I don’t have mulled over and planned for before arriving at the store. I know. Living right on the edge.
So yeah, there are actually tons of vegetables that I routinely overlook. Instead of grabbing green beans and tomatoes and getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible, lately I’ve been taking a few moments to study all the types of produce available.
This time around, I saw a head of radicchio that looked particularly inviting, so I dropped it in my cart, destined for a roasted radicchio recipe.
What is radicchio?
Radicchio is a member of the chicory plant family. It’s sometimes called “Italian chicory” because it is used quite often in Italian cooking.
It is grown and sold as a head – it resembles a head of red cabbage at the store. It has a spicy and bitter taste, which is mellowed out a little bit by cooking.
It can be eaten raw, as part of a salad. Generally, it is mixed with other types of greens that are less bitter, to balance the flavor. Cook’s Illustrated gives some good tips on taking the bite out of radicchio (making it less bitter) if you’d like to try it raw at some point.
But personally, I prefer grilled radicchio or this roasted radicchio recipe.
How to cook radicchio:
Evidenced by my roasted broccoli with lemon and Mexican roasted corn salad, I’m a huge fan of roasted vegetables of nearly all kinds. And roasted radicchio is a really nice change of pace, once in awhile.
To start, cut your head of radicchio into quarters. Then, use a paring knife to cut out the core from each quarter (the core is tough and not all that appetizing).
Next, simply place the wedges on a rimmed baking pan and drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Roast at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until the radicchio is JUST tender, but not mushy (I like to call this tender-crisp).
Serve this roasted radicchio recipe like a wedge salad!
Have you ever had a classic wedge salad? It’s such an old school dish, but I still regulary see it on the menu at steakhouses. It’s a big wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with bacon, tomatoes, onions and blue cheese dressing.
There’s something about this salad that is alluring for sure, but I think we can do better. Let’s make it with roasted radicchio and update the ingredients a little.
So, while the radicchio is roasting, you’ll have time to whip up an old culinary school / restaurant standby: balsamic reduction. Simply cook balsamic vinegar in a small pot until it is reduced by half and nice and syrupy.
You may want to make a double batch, because this balsamic reduction is great on literally ANY vegetable, including balsamic asparagus.
When the radicchio wedges come out of the oven, top them with the balsamic reduction, along with some crumbled blue cheese (I had some left over from a batch of blue cheese mashed potatoes I made last week), walnuts and parsley.
- 1 large head radicchio, quartered and cored
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place radicchio on rimmed baking pan; drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until radicchio is tender-crisp.
- Meanwhile, place vinegar in medium saucepot. Cook over medium-high heat 4 to 6 minutes or until vinegar is reduced by half (should be a pourable syrup consistency). Watch pot closely as vinegar reduces to make sure it does not boil over.
- Divide radicchio wedges between serving plates. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and sprinkle with blue cheese, parsley and walnuts. Serve immediately.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g