Not twenty-four hours after I wrote about a pasta that would be perfect for spring, the temperature dropped, and it was back to multiple layers, scarves, and gloves here in Brooklyn. I didn’t want the remaining rotini, already coated with goat cheese, to go to waste, but the chilly, rainy weather practically demanded a heartier dish for the next incarnation. Instead of sautéing another round of zucchini, I borrowed a recipe from the Carnivore’s repertoire; one that, suffice it to say, relies heavily on meat. A bolognese, of sorts.
This piece isn’t about that recipe, though; it’s about what was served on the side.
I needed something with an edge to cut through the garlic and grease of the beef-based sauce; a quick rummage through the crisper drawer revealed two forgotten heads of radicchio, slightly wilted but perfectly serviceable. When roasted with balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and olive oil, they provided the ideal bitter foil to such a heavy pasta.
And I do mean bitter. I love my sharply flavored leafy vegetables, but if that’s not your thing, you might want to steer clear of this one.
From Sunday Suppers at Lucques, by Suzanne Goin
2 heads radicchio
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I’d double this next time; I like more acidity.)
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cut the radicchio in half lengthwise through the core. Place the halves on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut each half into four wedges, leaving the root end intact to hold the wedges together.
3. Carefully toss the radicchio with the olive oil, vinegar, rosemary leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and lots of pepper. Let sit 15 minutes.
4. Place the wedges snugly, cut side down, in a gratin dish. (Choose a dish in which the radicchio just fits; it won’t cook properly if there is too much empty space.) Roast 30 to 40 minutes, until the radicchio is tender, slightly crisp, and caramelized on top.