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Grilled Radicchio

by Russell Norman from Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking

Russell Norman's simple griddled radicchio finished with a good scattering of sea salt and parsley is a simple, bittersweet vegetable side that pairs perfectly with roasted meat.

From the book

Russell Norman

Introduction

There are two other principal types of radicchio besides the flower-like Treviso tardivo: the round variety known as Chioggia, and the torpedo-shaped Treviso. While the second is the most common and certainly the best known in international food markets, it’s the other two that feature most prominently in Venetian kitchens. They are adored in northern Italy because they satisfy that distinctive bitter flavour profile so necessary in the region’s cooking.

When grilled, a little of that bitterness is tempered somewhat and miraculously becomes almost sweet, so you end up with one of the classic, and most prized Italian flavour combinations, agrodolce. These are wonderful when barbecued, by the way; so dense and meaty that I will happily eat them as an alternative to steak.

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Ingredients

4 small heads of Treviso radicchio
extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
a small handful of flat parsley, finely chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a griddle pan.

Method

Remove and discard the stalk from the individual radicchio heads and slice each into quarters, lengthways.

Place them into a very large mixing bowl and coat generously with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Using your hands, turn the radicchio heads over enthusiastically to ensure they are fully coated.

Place a griddle pan over a high heat and, one by one, shaking off excess oil first, grill the heads on all sides, several minutes per piece, making sure they benefit fully from the heat and suffer grill lines and charred edges. Carefully set aside each as you go.

When all the radicchio is grilled, divide equally between four plates, scatter over the chopped parsley, and serve with a little bowl of flaky sea salt.

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From the book: Venice: Four Seasons of Home Cooking

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