It's interesting how our tastes change over time, or having something prepared in a new way can change your perception. I used to dislike radicchio, even picking it out of salads. I found it to be bitter. A couple of years ago, I had GRILLED radicchio as a side dish at a local eatery. It was amazing!!! I immediately tried to replicate the recipe, and it turned out quite well. Grilling it tames the bitterness, and actually imparts an almost nutty flavor.
(photo courtesy of marthastewart.com)
Here's some information on this tasty green, from epicurious.com:
This red-leafed Italian CHICORY is most often used as a salad green. There are several varieties of radicchio, but the two most widely available in the United States are Verona and Treviso . The radicchio di Verona has burgundy-red leaves with white ribs. It grows in a small, loose head similar to BUTTERHEAD LETTUCE. The leaves of radicchio di Treviso are narrow and pointed and form tighter, more tapered heads. They also have white ribs but can range in color from pink to dark red. Other radicchio varieties have variegated or speckled leaves in beautiful shades of pink, red and green. All radicchios have tender but firm leaves with a slightly bitter flavor. Radicchio is available year-round, with a peak season from midwinter to early spring. Choose heads that have crisp, full-colored leaves with no sign of browning. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. Besides being used in salads, radicchio may also be cooked by grilling, sautéing or baking.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/entry/?id=4169#ixzz1QtkZBXb8
RECIPE: GRILLED BALSAMIC RADICCHIO
* 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
* 2 TBS orange Juice
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
* 1 teaspoon orange zest
* 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional)
* 2 large heads of radicchio, each quartered through core end
* sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese shavings (parmesan will do in a pinch)
Whisk oil, vinegar, orange juice, garlic, rosemary, zest, and crushed red pepper in large bowl. Add radicchio and toss to coat. Marinate 15 minutes.
Prepare barbecue or stovetop grill pan (medium heat). Drain marinade into small bowl. Place radicchio on grill or in pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill radicchio until edges are crisp and slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes. Transfer radicchio to serving platter. Drizzle with reserved marinade and sprinkle with cheese shavings.
Serve it up on a nice vintage platter: