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Linguine with Grilled Radicchio and Bacon

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Linguine with Grilled Radicchio and Bacon

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Sometimes certain ingredients perplex me more than others.  Last week, it was radicchio that had me scratching my head.

I knew that I had seen a million recipes for people grilling it.  That sounded good to me.  Grilled lettuces are delicious, and a totally different flavor than your typical cold salad greens.

So there was one option.  But what to do with a head of grilled radicchio?  I had run across an Alton Brown recipe for grilled radicchio with bacon vinaigrette.  Bacon vinaigrette?  Sign me up.

Since this was lunch, I wanted to think of a way to make it into more of a complete meal.  My brain’s answer to everything is add pasta and parmesan cheese.  This seemed like a reasonable solution.

It was really pretty good except that I realized I don’t love radicchio.  For me, it’s a little bitter.  The parmesan and bacon add a nice contrast to its bitterness, but I still couldn’t get past it.  I do also think this would make a warm salad better than a pasta dish.

But if you are a radicchio lover, then give this a whirl and let me know how you like it.

Linguine with Grilled Radicchio and Bacon
Inspired by Alton Brown for Food Network

2 Tbs. bacon drippings
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 head radicchio, washed and halved
1/2 pound cooked linguine
4 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup grated good quality parmesan cheese

Mix together bacon drippings, cider vinegar, brown sugar and black pepper.  Set aside.

Spray a grill pan or outdoor grill with non-stick spray.  Place the halved head of radicchio cut side down on the  grill pan or outdoor grill.  Grill until edges are wilted, about 2 minutes.  Flip and grill the other side another minute more.

Cut the radicchio halves into bite-sized pieces.

Toss the radicchio with the warm cooked linguine, and then dress with bacon dripping mixture.   Top with the bacon crumbles and parmesan cheese and serve warm.

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Tried and tested recipes I really make for my family and friends. Really. Simple, hearty comfort food made with fresh, local ingredients.

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