Radicchio or trevisano, both hearty bitter lettuces, become remarkably sweet and succulent when charred over a live fire. Served with a drizzle of good olive oil and saba—a sweet wine-based condiment—along with a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese, it's the best vegetable you've never grilled.
Note: Saba or vincotto is a sweet syrup made from grape must. It's similar in flavor to a true Balsamic vinegar, though slightly less acidic. If you can't find it, any sort of balsamic condiment can be used in its place.
- Yield:Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 2 whole heads trevisano or radicchio, split in half through core
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Saba or balsamic syrup, for drizzling (see note)
Light one half chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to medium-high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Place trevisano cut side-down directly over the heat. Grill until lightly charred on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip and season the tops with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until second side is charred, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to cooler side of grill, cover, and cook until fully tender, about 1 minute longer.
Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and saba. Serve immediately.