Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Radicchio Risotto
Greens like escarole, endive, and the belovedly bitter radicchio are staples in winter, providing a sturdy counterpoint to warm, rich flavors as bold elements in a salad, such as frisee against crispy bacon or radicchio against crusty Jerusalem artichokes. But there is also lots of potential for forgoing their rawness in favor of heat: The bitterness is toned down while the sweetness increases, creating a compelling balance of flavors.
This recipe, adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle, cooks down chopped radicchio with pancetta, so it almost braises into a sweet, sticky, porky mess. Stirred into an otherwise basic risotto, it dominates with its bold flavor (still, if you're not a fan of radicchio, this is probably not the recipes for you).
During cooking its appealing purple color gets muted, but the flavor is quite unique. I drizzled mine with a little good thick aged balsamic (the thin harsh stuff is better left out) to accent the radicchio's coaxed sweetness.