I find the flavor of radicchio too strong for salads. Mustard greens provide a nice crisp addition to a salad without the strong bitter that I get from radicchio.

My favorite treatment for radicchio goes like this:

  • Preheat a barbecue grill (preferably) or a frying pan while getting the food ready.
  • Leaving the root of the head intact to help hold everything together, slice young firm heads into 3/4 inch wide slices.
  • Spritz a thin coating of good olive oil on one side of the slices, placing that side down on the heat source. Spritz another thin coat on the other side.
  • Lightly salt and pepper the radicchio on the top side.
  • When the down side is very hot but before it's changing texture much, flip the slices and add your favorite mild blue cheese -- I typically use Stilton or Gorgonzola. (I've also used a combination of Feta and Parmigiano.)
  • Sprinkle a little pepper on the crumbled cheese.
  • Lay thickly sliced pears on the grill next to the radicchio slices.
  • When the bottom side of the radicchio slices is very hot, lift them off onto plates, top them with the grilled pear slices, and sprinkle with a plain vinaigrette.

This is good immediately or refrigerated for a later meal and served chilled. Pair it with a wine that is weightier than people usually suggest, Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine companion for this dish.