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Grilled Radicchio Salad

As farmers, we love our greens. Radicchio is a type of chicory that should not be mistaken for lettuce. Think of it as a leafy vegetable, with a distinct spicy and bitter taste. Most of the radicchio growers I know have a story (or two) about customers that have complained about the bitterness, and it usually means they used it like regular salad greens or they need a better recipe. My first experience with radicchio was with a recipe for grilling it - sounds a little weird, until you try it. I found a similar recipe that also showcases romaine lettuce and has a delicious salad dressing. Make sure to use the anchovy for great umami flavor.

1 head romaine lettuce

1 head radicchio

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I use about half this amount)

1 clove garlic

1 small anchovy fillet

2-1/2 TBSP. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or other similar cheese

Heat your gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Cut lengthwise through the radicchio and the romaine. Put the oil in shallow bowl or dish and dip the cut sides of the greens in the oil. Once grill is preheated, grill cut side down for a few minutes until nicely charred on the outside.

Make the dressing by finely mincing garlic and anchovy, then put some kosher salt on top and scrape it back and forth (the salt acts as an abrasive agent). Add to a bowl and whisk in the balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the grilled radicchio and romaine to a large bowl, then cover with the dressing and the cheese.

Adapted from Fine Cooking

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