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Radicchio Salad

Radicchio is a slightly bitter tasting leaf vegetable. You can make super healthy radicchio salads with your favorite salad dressing and walnut toppings for snacking or serve it with a main meal. Read on to know more.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Radicchio is not a popular vegetable in most kitchens, specially because of its bitter and peppery taste. Commonly known as leaf chicory, this red leaf vegetable having distinctive white vein provides innumerable health benefits. The medicinal properties of radicchio includes blood purification, sleep problem treatment, and more importantly, increased antioxidant levels in the body. As for taste, grilled radicchio tastes very good. Try one of these radicchio salad recipes to make the most the radicchio nutrients.
Radicchio and Endive Salad
  • 1 head radicchio (thinly sliced)
  • ½ head endive (sliced)
  • 1 apple (cut into matchstick-sized pieces)
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar (to taste)
Directions for Preparation
This salad recipe is very simple and you can complete making it within 15 minutes, including the preparation time. Take a large salad bowl and combine together radicchio slices, endive slices, and apple pieces. Mix well, and add olive oil and vinegar. Toss well the salad ingredients for even mixing. Then, top the salad with toasted walnuts and serve. You can also drizzle your favorite salad dressing over it for enjoying a savory dish.
Grilled Radicchio Salad
  • 1 medium head radicchio (cut lengthwise into 6 pieces)
  • 1 pound mushrooms (cleaned and cut into 2-inch strips)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped Italian parsley
Directions for Preparation
In a small saucepan, add vinegar and garlic slices. Put it over a medium heat and bring to a boiling temperature. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, till vinegar thickens to half the original amount. Remove vinegar syrup from heat and keep aside. Start an outdoor grill (or grill pan) and heat to a temperature of about 375° F. Take another large mixing bowl and combine together 2 tablespoons olive oil and mushroom. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and mix well for even coating. Lay mushrooms in one layer and grill until browned. Transfer in a serving platter.
For grilling radicchio, add 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Toss radicchio wedges after sprinkling salt, pepper, and other seasoning spices of your own choice. Grill radicchio for about 4 minutes per side, or until they turn tender and softened. Remove from grill and place in the same platter, in which you keep grilled mushrooms. You can consider mixing them randomly. Drizzle vinegar syrup over the grilled mushroom and radicchio. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve.
Radicchio Salad with Walnut Dressing
  • 3 heads (about 1½ pounds) radicchio (quartered lengthwise)
  • 8 thin slices of pancetta
  • ⅔ cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
  • 2 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 ounces shaved young Pecorino (for topping)
  • ½ cup walnut oil
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Directions for Preparation
Preheat a thick frying skillet over medium low heat. Place pancetta in a single layer and cook for about 4 - 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for the same cooking period. Continue cooking pancetta until crisp and then transfer in a platter. Make pieces (1-inch size) out of the cooked pancetta and keep aside. Put cleaned radicchio in a large bowl. Heat oil in the skillet, add shallots and remove from heat. To this, stir in vinegar, toasted walnuts, pepper and salt. Whisk together for a few minutes and pour over radicchio. Toss well, and sprinkle cheese and pancetta pieces.
Food experts opine that radicchio is best consumed in a salad. As you see, radicchio salads are very easy to toss-up and less time-consuming. All you need is some basic knowledge about the suitable dressing that blends well with the bitter and spicy taste of this leaf chicory.