A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Grilled Basted Radicchio


addichio has a bitter quality which can be exquisite if well balanced with other ingredients. In the Veneto region of Italy, it is often braised or basted in a sweet, sharp sauce, such as in this recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil
100g radicchio/ chicory leaves, rinsed and spun dry
100 ml vinegar – cider or balsamic
100 ml olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
Honey or date/ maple syrup
Pinch of salt (optional)
Pinch of caster sugar (optional)

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and sugar in a tall thin jug. Stir in a tablespoon of honey or syrup until it blends fully with the rest of the mix. Continue adding until the basting mix has a lightly syrupy consistency, something like batter: the amount of honey/ syrup needed will depend on natural variation between different products.

When you have achieved the right blend, heat one tbsp veg oil in a griddle pan (or, if you don’t have one of those, a frying pan).

As it gets sizzling hot, dip the radicchio leaf by leaf, in the basting mix, and line up next to each other in the pan.  Press down on each with a spatula; turn over leaf as it begins to char/ caramelise, and repeat.

Remove each leaf from the pan once both sides just charred. Arrange leaves on a plate and serve as a starter or a side dish: combines well with pasta or risotto.

Categories:  Recipes