I find that a lot of people tend to fear the chicory family, the bitterness that tends to be more forward in these greens can be a turn off. When prepared properly and with nice hints of sweetness incorporated, that same bitterness can add wonderful complexity to a dish. Grilling any chicory can also soften the tougher leaves and add some nice char flavor.
This salad is truly simple and makes an amazing addition to any summertime barbecue or badminton tournament. Enjoy!
2 heads of radicchio
1 Tb sunflower oil (or neutral oil)
1 lb of snap peas or snow peas (green beans work too!)
1 lb of sweet cherries, pitted and torn
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, crushed
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
1 Tb balsamic reduction
Preheat the grill until the grates are very hot. Meanwhile, quarter the radicchio while keeping the core in tact. Coat the quartered radicchio with sunflower oil and a sprinkle of salt. Arrange the wedges on the hot grill on all sides for 30 seconds each until grill marks are formed and the leaves have lightly browned and wilted. Remove from the grill and set aside on a platter.
Bring heavily salted water to a boil and add in the snap peas for 20 seconds, remove and shock in a bowl of ice cold water. Cut peas on a bias and arrange over the radicchio.
At this time, add the pitted torn cherries, nuts, and another sprinkle of salt and crank of pepper to the platter with the radicchio and peas. Using a zester, zest part of the lemon over the top of the dish, then cut the lemon and use half of the lemon's juice right before serving.
Heavily drizzle extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze over the entire plate. Top with chopped parsley and hazelnuts, serve!