Purple-red radicchio is delightfully bitter, and grilling thick wedges of it chars and sweetens the outer leaves. The salsa verde adds a contrasting color and a dose of piquancy that brighten the cool-weather chicory. Serve this bold-flavored side as an accompaniment to fennel-scented pork sausages, veal chops or seared scallops, or as an inventive starter for a dinner party.
Pan-Grilled Radicchio with Salsa Verde
4 heads Treviso radicchio
8 Tbs. (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp. prepared horseradish
2 Tbs. capers, drained
2 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets
Leaves from 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh mint
Remove any blemished or discolored leaves from the radicchio. Cut each head lengthwise into quarters. Arrange the quarters on a baking sheet, drizzle lightly with oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
Grate the zest from the lemon. Halve the fruit and squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half into a small bowl. Reserve the remaining half.
In a food processor, combine the lemon zest, garlic, horseradish, capers and anchovies. Process until well chopped. Add the parsley and mint leaves, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse puree. With the motor running, slowly pour in the remaining 6 tablespoons (3 fl. oz./90 ml.) oil and process until smooth; the salsa should have the consistency of pesto. Transfer to a bowl. If desired, add a bit more lemon juice.
Heat a ridged grill pan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the radicchio quarters in a single layer and cook, turning as needed, until they just begin to wilt and caramelize, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and top with the salsa. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our new cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.