Charred Radicchio with Sweet-and-Sticky Balsamic and Bacon

A To-Die-For Salty and Sweet Salad

PHOTO: Adam Perry Langs charred radicchio salad is shown here.
Servings:Over 8
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

When I am sitting in a business meeting, I often daydream about food, as I was on the day when we had a meeting in Jamie Oliver's conference room. On the wall, there was a stunning, poetic picture of radicchio wrapped in bacon, just about to go into the oven. I thought about how it would taste. Actually, I think the impression was so strong that I truly tasted it. And then, as people who think about food tend to do, I thought about what I might do with radicchio.

I visualized grilling its deep-red leaves to a bitter char that would match the char on a piece of grilled meat. The soft grilled leaves would respond well to the sticky-sweet acidity of good balsamic vinegar. It fills the mouth with bitter sweetness, a well-matched foil to Double-Butterflied Leg of Lamb or Roasted Rib Stack with Worcestershire Salt. And the bacon makes it all better, because that's the great culinary virtue of smoky, fatty cured pork.

Here is that daydream on a plate.


  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste (1 to 2 cloves mashed with a pinch of salt)
  • Pinch each of sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 to 5 heads radicchio, quartered and core trimmed
  • 16 to 20 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the grill to medium-low.

    For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

    Put the radicchio in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough vinaigrette to coat lightly, tossing gently.

    Lay a slice of bacon on a work surface and wrap a radicchio quarter tightly in the bacon, starting from the bottom end and continuing to just shy of ¼ inch from the top. Repeat with the remaining bacon and radicchio.

    Put the radicchio quarters on the oiled clean grill grate and cook until crispy and golden on the first side, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until crisp and golden on the second side, about 2 minutes, then turn and cook until crisp and golden on the third side.

    Transfer the radicchio to a platter. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped chives, and serve.

    Recipe courtesy Adam Perry Lang.

    This recipe was styled by chef Karen Pickus for Good Morning America.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: pepper, balsamic, bacon, oregano, radicchio

    Course: Salad

    More Info: Kid Friendly

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