Ways to Use Radicchio

Treviso Radicchio Recipes
Grilled Radicchio
Oven Roasted Radicchio
Carmelized Onion-Radicchio Tapenade
Risotto with Treviso Radicchio

Radicchio is most often encountered by Americans as a salad ingredient, used sparingly for that purpose because it is so bitter. Treviso is leafier and somewhat milder tasting than other varieties of radicchio, which form round, compact heads with crunchier leaves.

The Treviso variety is well suited for cooking, which mellows the bitterness somewhat and gives it a nutty flavor.

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Treviso radicchio from the Headhouse Farmers Market in Philadelphia, Penn., Oct. 17, 2010

Grilled Radicchio [top]

Trim the base of the radicchio, making sure to leave the heads intact. Cut lengthwise into halves for larger heads of radicchio or into quarters for smaller heads, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set on a medium to hot grill and turn frequently with tongs to avoid burning, occasionally brushing with more olive oil, if desired. Use aluminum foil to protect the leaf tips from burning, if desired. Grill until radicchio is fork tender, between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the grill.

Oven Roasted Radicchio [top]

Heat oven to 450º F. Trim the base of the radicchio, making sure to leave the heads intact. Cut lengthwise into halves for larger heads of radicchio or into quarters for smaller heads, baste with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down in a roasting pan and roast until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Carmelized Onion-Radicchio Tapenade [top]

1 medium Treviso radicchio
1 medium onion
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ cup or more chopped black olives
¼ cup or more grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup washed and chopped parsley (optional)
several anchovies (optional)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Coarsely chop radicchio and onion and sauté in olive oil in heavy skillet on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until the onion begins to darken and carmelize. For last two minute of sautéing, add the garlic. Do not burn. Remove from heat and let it a cool a bit.

2. Place all of the other ingredients except the salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, add the warm onion and radicchio mixture and pulse just a few times to mix thoroughly and chop the ingredients. Add a bit more olive oil, if the mixture is too dry. Texture should be chunky, not pureed. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Risotto with Treviso Radicchio [top]

1 medium or 2 small heads of Treviso radicchio
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup risotto rice
½ cup white wine
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
¼ cup grated parmesan
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper

1. Trim the bottom of the radicchio, wash the leaves, cut them lengthwise into inch-wide ribbons and chop into small pieces.

2. Put the stock in a saucepan on low heat to warm up. In another saucepan, pot or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the diced onions, stirring them frequently. When the onions have softened and are beginning to turn golden, add the radicchio, garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper, and lower the heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the rice and when the grains are coated with oil, add the wine, stirring into the rice until the liquid has been absorbed. With the flame under the rice pot on medium low, ladle about a cup of warm broth into the rice, stirring occasionally until the liquid is absorbed, then ladle another cup of broth into the rice, repeating until the rice is cooked, al dente on the outside, creamy on the inside, about 30 minutes.

4. When the last ladle full of broth is nearly absorbed, stir in the parmesan cheese, pine nuts and butter. Add more salt and pepper if desired.