I’m a firm believer in good quality balsamic vinegar, something that has been aged at least 10 years but preferably longer. They can get quite pricey though so I keep at least two kinds of balsamic at home. I’ll buy one that is $30 or more for about 8 fl oz, used to finish dishes in small amounts. These are thick and syrupy and just a few drops with an equally good extra virgin olive oil is all you’ll need to turn a salad into a restaurant quality starter. I also buy the big bottles at BJ’s or Costco, a regular commercial brand that is around $7 for 34 fl oz. These pour with a viscosity similar to water. This is the one I cook with or use to make dressings that I’ll be mixing with more ingredients.

Some readers have told me that they don’t have the gourmet balsamic vinegars available to them where they live, so one solution is to make a reduction. The reduction, made from any cheap supermarket brand, is not exactly the same as a 25 year aged balsamic, but it does have that wonderful syrupy consistency, concentrated sweetness, and balanced tartness. I’d pour it over just about anything.

This is just one suggested use for it, drizzled on grilled radicchio, but you may want to make more because it keeps well in the fridge and we’ll give you some more suggested uses soon. If you do have a plastic squeeze bottle, keep it in there for easy access but drizzling with a spoon is easy too.

Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Reduction 6

Grilled Radicchio with a Balsamic Reduction
~6 side servings

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 head radicchio (6″-7″ diameter)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring balsamic vinegar to a gentle simmer in a small saute pan (or something wide and shallow), stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Reduce until syrupy. Do not rush by turning up the heat. You do not want to burn it. Remove from heat a little before the thickness you want because it will thicken a little more as it cools. Set aside in room temperature.

*BTW, if it thickens too much, you can just stir in a little water over low heat.

balsamic reduction 2balsamic reduction 4balsamic reduction 3
balsamic reduction

2. Cut the radicchio into 6 wedges. Lay on a plate and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

drizzled olive oil on radicchio  2

3. Grill over moderately low flame for about a minute (depending on your flame size) on each side, until just charred. Remove to the serving platter. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. (It’s strong so you shouldn’t need all of it.) Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

Grilled Radicchio with Balsamic Reduction 5

Note: If you want to get extra detailed, use any cheaper olive oil for the first 3 tablespoons, but drizzle with a very good quality extra virgin olive oil at the end.

posted by jessica at 08:45 AM Filed under Italian, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.