Treviso—a longer, thinner, looser version of tight-headed radicchio—gets its bitter edge tamed by the flame and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar in this beyond easy recipe. Because grilled treviso keeps a bit of the vegetable's pretty red color even as it cooks, it's a delicious—and striking—addition to any grilled vegetable platter. (No treviso around? Use this same technique and flavors with rounder radicchio!)
Note that while the leaves will be tender enough to eat, they can be a bit tricky to cut, even once they're tender; you'll want to provide diners with a fork and knife to tackle these if you serve the halves whole. The alternative is to grill the heads and then chop them up before serving.
Go ahead and grill up as much treviso as you'd like. The instructions here translate to any number of heads. The question is really how much space on your grill do you have?
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (you should be able to hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for 2 to 3 seconds before pulling it away).
- While the grill heats, trim and browned edges from the stem of the treviso. Cut the treviso in half lengthwise. Rub or brush the entire treviso halves with oil.
- Set the treviso cut-side down on the grill. Cook until the edges are well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn, sprinkle the cooked cut-side with salt, and cook until the entire treviso is nicely browned and wilted, about 4 more minutes.
- Remove the treviso from the grill. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- Chop the grilled treviso and toss with a balsamic vinaigrette instead of drizzling with just the vinegar to serve as a "cooked" salad.
- Instead of (or in addition to) drizzling with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle the grilled treviso with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before serving.
- Punch things up with a drizzle of rice wine vinegar and hot chile oil or a sprinkle of red chile flakes instead of the balsamic vinegar.
- Along with the balsamic, add a few crumbled of blue cheese to the treviso before serving—the pungency of blue cheese stands up well to the bitter tinge of the chicory leaves.
- Try aged sherry vinegar instead of balsamic for a less sweet and less intense vinegar kick.