Author Notes: The bitterness of radicchio and the sour-sweetness of grapefruit make for a mutually beneficial flavor pairing. When served warm, the flavors deepen; grilling the radicchio allows it to adopt the grill’s smokiness, while bruleeing the grapefruit under a dusting of brown sugar and a hot flame imparts a sense of caramel to the citrus. Add in two secret ingredients -Chinese 5 Spice and very aged Balsamic- and you’ve got a unique, simple, mysterious burst of flavors. —em-i-lis
Makes: 6 appetizer or side portions
heads radicchio, cut into six 3/4″ rounds (try to maintain the “steak” aspect), you won’t need all of the radicchio
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Chinese 5 spice
large pink or red grapefruit, skin cut away, fruit cut into six 1/4″ – 1/2″ rounds
tablespoons brown sugar
good quality, aged (!) Balsamic, for drizzling
Prepare your grill; you’ll want it at medium-high heat.
Preheat your broiler to high.
Brush your radicchio steaks with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with Chinese 5 spice, and place oil- and spice-side down on the hot grill. Grill 3-4 minutes and remove.
In the meantime, place a piece of foil on a baking sheet, put the six grapefruit rounds on it, and put 1 T brown sugar on each grapefruit slice.
Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes until sugar is melted and juices have started to run.
Remove from broiler and finish bruleeing with a kitchen torch if you’ve got it. Otherwise you can leave the fruit under the broiler a bit longer.
- On each radicchio steak, place one bruleed grapefruit round. Drizzle with Balsamic and serve immediately.