I love bitter greens like endive and radicchio and usually resort to making my standard salad concoctions when I happen to have them on hand. Always trying to break out of my perpetual ruts, I was pretty psyched to find a stuffed radicchio recipe in the Recipes for Health section of the NY Times.
Usually when I think of stuffed vegetables I think of that 70's staple, stuffed peppers. Ugh. First of all, the peppers are usually green peppers which I hate, and they're generally stuffed with some tasteless tomato/meat/rice concoction. Pass!
I'd never thought of stuffing radicchio leaves before, but I guess this is not unlike a stuffed cabbage recipe. In concept ONLY. Cabbage rolls are totally reminiscent of stuffed peppers. (Ack!) Radicchio rolls are infinitely more delicious. I like the original NYT recipe as-is well enough, but really think that the addition of a fresh herb and a touch of sweetness adds alot. It's a great little veg side dish or even main meal if you are looking for something meatless.
(Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman)
8 radicchio leaves
2/3 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus additional for garnish
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, optional
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic glaze, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Oil or butter a two-quart gratin or baking dish, then, fill a bowl with ice water.
2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the radicchio leaves. Blanch for one minute, then transfer to the bowl of ice water. Drain thoroughly and dry on paper towels.
3. In a small bowl stir together the ricotta, egg yolk, and Parmesan. Stir in the chopped walnuts and thyme, if using. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place a heaping tablespoon on a radicchio leaf, tuck the sides of the leaves in over the filling and roll up the leaf (see photo below). Divide the mixture among the remaining radicchio leaves, and repeat. Place in the baking dish, seam side down. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and bake for 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, (if using) simmer 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan until reduced to a thick syrup, about 4 minutes. Remove the radicchio from the oven, drizzle with the balsamic glaze if desired, sprinkle with additional Parmesan to taste, and serve. Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as an appetizer.