Lukas Volger / @lukasvolger
Bitter vegetables like raddichio need fat, acid, and/or sweetness to really make them sing, and this easy dish draws from all three. Sweet toasted hazelnuts, flecks of sharp cheddar, and a balanced, citrusy vinaigrette all unite for a real marriage of flavors, perfect for a fall feast. And using the grill during Thanksgiving—just before the weather starts to get too cold to be firing it up—has the extra perk of eliminating one more pan from the oven or pot from the stove.
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 medium clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
5 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds radicchio (5 to 8 heads)
Grapeseed or another mild-flavored, high-smoke-point oil
3 ounces sharp, dry cheddar, shaved into flecks with a vegetable peeler or crumbled
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring once or twice. Cool completely, then very coarsely chop.
Roughly chop the garlic, sprinkle with the salt, then mince and mash until you have a paste. Add it to a jar along with the orange and lemon juices, mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, and several grinds of black pepper. Cover tightly with a lid and shake until emulsified.
If your raddichio is small, cut it into quarters through the stem. If large, cut into sixths or eighths.
Preheat a grill to medium-high flame, and lightly brush the grates with the oil. When hot, arrange the raddichio wedges with one flat side down and cook without disturbing for 4 to 7 minutes, until they take on grill marks and begin to soften. Flip and repeat on the other flat sides. They should be just tender all the way through—test by piercing through the middle with a paring knife. Transfer to a baking sheet, in a single layer.
Toss gently with the vinaigrette in a wide serving bowl or platter and, just before serving, top with the shaved cheddar and chopped hazelnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.