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Recipe

Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon

Simon Wheeler

Servings: 8 to 10

The soft grilled leaves of bitter radicchio respond well to the sticky-sweet acidity of good balsamic vinegar. It fills the mouth with bitter sweetness, a well-matched foil to grill-roasted leg of lamb. And the bacon makes it all better, because that’s the great culinary virtue of smoky, fatty cured pork.

Ingredients

for the vinaigrette

  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 2 Tbs.finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste (1 to 2 cloves mashed with a pinch of salt)
  • Pinch each of sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp.dried oregano

For the radicchio

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 to 5 heads radicchio, quartered and core trimmed
  • 16 to 20 slices bacon
  • 2 Tbs. aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Preparation

  • Preheat the grill to medium-low.

Make the vinaigrette

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Prepare and grill the radicchio

  • Put the radicchio in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough vinaigrette to coat lightly, tossing gently.
  • Lay a slice of bacon on a work surface and wrap a radicchio quarter tightly in the bacon, starting from the bottom end and continuing to just shy of 1/4-in. from the top. Repeat with the remaining bacon and radicchio.
  • Put the radicchio quarters on the oiled clean grill grate and cook until crispy and golden on the first side, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until crisp and golden on the second side, about 2 minutes, then turn and cook until crisp and golden on the third side.
  • Transfer the radicchio to a platter. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped chives, and serve.charred & scruffed cookbook perry

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