Roasted radicchio salad is my attempt to recreate the grilled radicchio salad we first ate decades ago at Lambert’s of Taos, a popular restaurant in northern New Mexico. Radicchio looks a bit like red cabbage, but it’s actually a type of chicory. It has more in common with artichokes and sunflowers than it does cabbage.
Radicchio is also smaller than red cabbage. A head of radicchio typically ranges in size between a orange and a grapefruit, although I did buy some once that were no bigger than a tangerine. One head can serve one to four people depending on the size of the radicchio and the appetite of the humans.
Most other recipes say to leave the core intact after quartering the radicchio. The core will hold the leaves together while cooking. I think they cook more evenly if you trim them slightly.
Three Methods of Preparation
The radicchio can be roasted, grilled or seared. When I started developing this recipe, I focused on roasting and grilling. A few days ago, I received our May & June 2021 issue of Cook’s Illustrated with a recipe for Seared Radicchio Wedge Salad. Hold the presses! I picked up another head of radicchio to try searing the radicchio wedges on the stovetop and that was also tasty.
The below directions include all three methods. Jim has a slight preference for the mild smoky flavor of radicchio grilled over charcoal. Since I like them all, I’ll switch it up depending on what cooking method is most convenient at the time. If I’ve already got something cooking in the oven, I’ll use the stovetop or grill. If we are grilling steaks, I’ll throw the radicchio on the grill while the cooked meat rests before serving. Go with the one that appeals to you since they all produce good results.
Active time: 5 minutes Total time: 15 to 20 minutes
One-Butt Kitchen Needs
- Use a rimmed baking pan to roast the radicchio. This Baking Pan with Rack also comes with a silicone pad. For easier cleanup, place the radicchio wedges a silicone pad or parchment paper.
- Silicone Basting Brushes are great for brushing butter, olive oil, or barbecue sauce on food before or during cooking. The silicone brushes are easier to clean than old-fashioned bristle brushes, and you don’t have to worry about a stray bristle ending up in your food.
- You’ll need a 10-inch Non-Stick Frypan if you decide to sear the radicchio on the stovetop.
- Set up the Charcoal Grill or Gas Grill if you want to grill the radicchio outdoors.
Serves: 2 to 4
- 1 medium or large head radicchio, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into quarters (or halves if it’s the size of a tangerine)
- 3 tbsp (or more) olive oil
- traditional balsamic vinaigrette
- blue cheese crumbles
Directions for Roasting:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone pad for easier cleanup.
Rinse the radicchio and pat dry. Slice the radicchio into quarters. Trim the core, and then arrange the wedges on the baking sheet.
Brush with olive oil. Roast in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sliced edges start to turn brown.
Directions for Grilling:
Light the gas or charcoal grill and bring it to medium-high heat.
Rinse the radicchio and pat dry. Slice the radicchio into quarters. Trim the core, then brush with olive oil. Place wedges on the grill, cut sides down. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Turn to other cut side and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Directions for Searing:
Heat oil in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until simmering. Arrange radicchio wedges, cut side down, in skillet and cook until undersides are deeply browned and the edges are wilted, about 2 minutes. Flip wedges and cook until second cut side is deeply browned, about 2 minutes. (Directions based on a recipe for Seared Radicchio Wedge Salad in the May & June 2021 issue of Cook’s Illustrated.)
Directions for Serving:
Place one or two wedges per person on a salad plate. Drizzle traditional balsamic vinaigrette over the wedges and top with blue cheese crumbles.