This is a very simple yet delicious recipe and right now it is peak season for radicchio, mid-winter. I love grilled radicchio which in my opinion is the best part of a grilled vegetable platter. Here I prepared it with some melted cheese.
Radicchio has an high antioxidant content rivaling that of blueberries and spinach. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium, it provides a source of fiber.
As the name suggests, radicchio trevigiano is a specialty from Treviso. In North America it is simply called Treviso. There are two types of radicchio trevigiano: precoce and tardivo (early and late). The radicchio tardivo is more of a delicacy but harder to grow therefore is more expensive and difficult to find outside of Italy. The precoce is more easy to find, it has stronger bitter accents than the tardivo but is still delicious and it pairs very well with melted Asiago fresco cheese.
Here is the recipe, it takes longer to write it than to prepare it!
Ingredients: one large (or two small) radicchio trevigiano precoce , extra-virgin olive oil, salt, about 100 gr of a young cow-milk cheese with a full flavor and good for melting (I used Asiago fresco), freshly grated pepper.
Preheat the oven to 360°F on roasting (we want heat from both top and bottom).
Slice the radicchio first in half along its length, and then in smaller slices. Wash and dry eliminating the excess water. Cut and discard the hard core that holds together the leaves at the base.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper (I wet the baking sheet first so the parchment paper will stick to it and will not move around) Transfer the radicchio on the baking sheet and dress generously with extra-virgin olive oil and salt (I used some wonderful thin salt flakes that my sister in law gave me, Anglesey Sea Salt from Wales, which add a crunchy consistency). Mix well to evenly distribute dressing. Do not spread the leaves too much otherwise they dry too much while cooking.
Put in the center of the oven, and cook for about 20 minutes. The thick white part of the leaves should become tender and the thin part lightly crispy.
While the radicchio is in the oven prepare some thin slices of the cheese. When the radicchio is almost done arrange the cheese slices on it and leave in the oven for one more minute or until the cheese just melts. Take out of the oven, grate some pepper on it and enjoy right away! Careful not to burn your tongue though! Excellent with some prosciutto di Parma and fresh bread.
For a low cholesterol version of this recipe, do not add the cheese.