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Baked Radicchio

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Although it is great in a salad—sweet and bitter at the same time—in the cold winter months radicchio trevisano is better cooked, and has a more resilient texture. Traditionally paired with speck—boneless, smoked prosciutto--radicchio makes a great risotto and a great sauce for pasta. In those dishes, the radicchio serves a secondary role as a distinctive flavoring, but when baked this way, it is the main protagonist. I enjoy baked radicchio by the mouthful, savoring its taste and texture, sweet, bitter, and crunchy. The best variety for baking is the long thin radicchio trevisano or spadone, but the small round heads most often found in the supermarket or the kind with long but wide leaves (resembling purple romaine lettuce) are also delicious baked this way. Serve as an antipasto or a vegetable course, over soft or baked polenta.

Serves6

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseantipasto/mezze, vegetable

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentbaking/gratin dish

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecheesy, crunchy, garlicky, savory, sweet

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 1½ pounds round or long radicchio, 2 or 3 firm heads
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large onion, peeled and sliced in ¼-inch-thick half-moons (2 cups)
  • 3 plump garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • A heavy sauté pan, 12-inch diameter or wider, with a cover
  • A baking dish or shallow casserole, 9 by 13 inches or similar size

Instructions

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