Radicchio is a relative of chicory and has a similarly bitter taste that works brilliantly when paired with something sweet, like the juicy figs and creamy burrata in this recipe. Burrata is a sort of super-creamy mozzarella that’s becoming increasingly easy to find in supermarkets, but you can substitute regular mozzarella if you can’t get hold of any. This is such an easy but impressive salad – once you’ve grilled the radicchio, it’s basically an assembly job. With such simple ingredients, you really do need to treat yourself to some good thick, sweet balsamic and top notch olive oil.
Grilled Radicchio with Burrata, Figs and Hazelnuts
Serves 4 as a generous starter
1 large head of radicchio (about 400-450g), sliced into 12 wedges through the root
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large ripe figs, quartered
4 x 100g balls of burrata
a handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Light the barbecue ready for direct grilling, or preheat a griddle pan on the hob.
Spread out the wedges of radicchio on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Once your barbecue or griddle is hot, lay the wedges oil side down and cook for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate.
Toast the hazelnuts in a small skillet for a few minutes, then tip on to a board and chop.
To assemble the salad, put the fig quarters and the grilled radicchio wedges on a platter. Nestle the burrata on top and sprinkle over the basil and hazelnuts. Finish with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, add a grind of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt and serve immediately while the radicchio is still just a touch warm.
Extracted from Charred: The Complete Guide to Vegetarian Grilling and BBQ by Genevieve Taylor (Quadrille, approx €19). Photography © Jason Ingram.
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