by Ali of Alexandra’s Kitchen
By this time of year, you’ve likely had your fill of grilled vegetables. You started with asparagus in late spring, moved on to eggplant and summer squash midsummer, and now you’re charring all the local sweet corn you can find. Seasoned with a little more than olive oil, salt and pepper, grilled vegetables make it so easy to get a healthy dinner on the table.
But until you’ve discovered the world of grilled bitter greens, you’re missing out on some of the best-suited vegetables for grilling. Greens such as radicchio, endive, frisee, or my favorite, treviso, an Italian variety of radicchio shaped like endive with maroon coloring, take so nicely to hot flames, which char their exterior leaves, relaxing their taut, crisp bodies and tempering their bitterness.
As when served raw, these bitter greens pair nicely with nuts, citrus and creamy blue cheeses. Here the grilled treviso is served with a Wisconsin blue cheese and buttermilk dressing, which can be drizzled on top or served on the side as a dipping sauce. Feel free, however, to dress up these grilled greens as you wish.
By Ali of Alexandra’s Kitchen
For Grilled Treviso:
9 to 10 heads treviso*
For Blue Cheese Dressing:
1/2 cup (3 ounces) Wisconsin blue cheese
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Preheat gas grill to high. Peel away any tired looking outer leaves from each head of treviso. Cut each head in half lengthwise through the core, keeping it intact. Cut each half in half again if they are large; leave as two pieces if they are small.
Place cut treviso in large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, and season well with salt. Toss with both hands to evenly coat each piece.
Place pieces on grill, cook for 3 to 4 minutes, checking after 3 minutes as they cook quickly. Flip treviso and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until nicely charred.
For blue cheese dressing, place all ingredients in blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Taste. Adjust with more salt, vinegar or pepper as needed.
If serving as an appetizer, transfer to platter and serve with blue cheese dressing on the side as a dip. If serving as first course, transfer to salad plates and drizzle with dressing.
*Note: Count about 1.5 heads treviso per person. If you can’t find treviso, radicchio is a great substitute. Also, endive and romaine work really nicely here, too, if you’re looking to add more variety to the dish.