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Radicchio: 3 ways to make the leafy vegetable a showstopper

Rowena Dumlao-Giardina resides in Italy, cooking and photographing her family's interesting meals on Apron and Sneakers. After moving to Italy in 1999 from the Philippines, she has traveled extensively around the country and the rest of ...

Delicious reasons radicchio should be at the top of your must-try list

Sometimes called Italian chicory, radicchio is a red and white leafy vegetable that has a distinctive bitter and spicy taste and makes a great addition to any meal.

In Italy, radicchio is much celebrated in the kitchen. The best way to taste its lightly bitter and spicy flavor is by cooking it straight on the grill (or griddle) with just a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. It is extremely healthy plus so easy to do.

Italian chicory comes in different varieties, but they always have the distinctive red and white coloring, so you won't miss it in the market. The small round one — the most ubiquitous variety in the U.S. — is Chioggia. The longer one whose shape is similar to the Belgian endive is the Treviso. This is the variety I used in the frittata and risotto recipes here, while for grilling I used the Tardivo, the variety with the curly leaves. You can interchange the varieties in all three recipes and still get that wonderful radicchio flavor.

Delicious reasons radicchio should be at the top of your must-try list
Image: Rowena Dumlao-Giardina/SheKnows

One of the best ways to enjoy radicchio is to grill it and then dress it simply with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

Grilled radicchio with pine nuts and balsamic vinegar recipe

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 8 minutes | Total time: 13 minutes


  • 2 heads long radicchio, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 6 tablespoons or more balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish


  1. On a hot grill or griddle, place the radicchio side by side. Cook for about 3 – 4 minutes each side.
  2. Transfer the radicchio to a serving plate, then sprinkle on the pine nuts, salt, pepper and parsley.
  3. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.
  4. Serve while hot.

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