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Seared Radicchio

Instead of using bits of radicchio to punch up a salad, try searing it in a hot pan to make a vegetable side dish. Searing brings out a little bit of sweetness from this bracing vegetable.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients

  • Several small compact heads of radicchio
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • A well-seasoned cast iron skillet, griddle or grill (see note)

Instructions

  1. Cut the heads of radicchio into wedges that are about 2" tall on the outer edge. Cutting through the core can help to keep the wedges intact. Reserve any leaves that fall off for a salad or to add to the hot pan near the end.
  2. Generously brush both sides of each wedge with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes, turning now and then to redistribute the oil.
  3. Turn the heat under the skillet to medium-high. Allow it to heat up for a few minutes -- you want a very hot pan for the searing. Place the wedges of radicchio in the hot pan in a single layer. After a few minutes, turn them over to cook the other side for a few minutes.  In the last minute or two of the process you can add any leaves that fell off while cutting the head into wedges.
  4. Garnish with additional olive oil, thin slivers of cheese (parmesan, ricotta salata, aged pecorino), or perhaps a dash of balsamic vinegar.

Recipe Notes

Uncoated pans made of other materials like anodized aluminum or stainless steel might also work well. Non-stick pans are not recommended because high heat is used.

Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone