This simple and mildly bitter recipe is a great way to begin your Valentine’s meal. Look for the elegant, long Treviso radicchio; it is easier to grill and sexier to eat. For the cheese, I’d recommend a Brillat-Savarin, as its creaminess balances the radicchio’s natural bitterness.
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When I made this dish with Brillat-Savarin cheese, its creaminess was a great contrast to the bitter radicchio, but I did feel like a saltier, funkier cheese — like Camembert — would be an even better choice for an even greater contrast. Whatever cheese you choose, definitely pick one you would love snacking on straight-up, in case there are leftovers!
- Christine, February 2015
Grilled Radicchio with Creamy Cheese
2 heads Treviso radicchio, about 7 ounces (200 grams) each
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 ounces (75 grams) creamy cow’s milk cheese
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Cut the radicchio heads into quarters and drizzle with olive oil, turning to lightly coat the pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a gas grill to medium, or set a heavy cast iron pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the radicchio and cook, turning often, until it is soft, brown in color, and lightly charred, about 12 minutes. Cut the cheese into pieces.
Transfer the radicchio to a serving dish. Top with pieces of the cheese and sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar. The heat of the radicchio will melt the cheese.
- Grill, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and more olive oil, and serve with Serrano ham and fresh figs.
- Try the recipe with Belgian endive, using lemon juice instead of balsamic vinegar.
Reprinted with permission from Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.