Motherhood, Food and Slow Living

Roasted radicchio.

Serves 2 (with some leftover)

for the roasted radicchio
1 head of radicchio, cut into wedges (I used round variety)
1 small orange, juiced (1/2 orange, if using large)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
few sprigs of thyme leaves
25g blue cheese
some parmesan cheese
handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
1tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

for the chickpeas
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
400g tin chickpea, rinsed and drained
125ml white wine
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
olive oil

salt and pepper

I remember ordering this warm grilled bitter leaves at the restaurant in Florence last August.
It was stinking hot outside, with temperatures reaching almost 40 degrees. The owner of the restaurant who served our table looked slightly confused and asked me twice if I knew that the dish was served warm and that if I really wanted this. He must have thought I was mad.

I just love bitter leaves.

Chicories of any sort, when cooked becomes mellow in my opinion. Cooked right, it will still retain its texture but the bitterness becomes almost sweet.

I like to throw caramelised radicchios into simple risotto. It is equally good in pasta with some pine nuts, anchovies and lots of garlic and chilli.

This one, however, is from the memories of our travels in Florence.

The last day of family lunch with my mum, my sister and her husband, Toby and our little Kiki. It wasn't the situation I find most easy, but with the help of ripe fruity red wine and good food, I think we successfully welcomed my mum's generosity.

I am serving mine with some simple warm chickpeas as the weather was cold in London when I cooked this.

But on warmer days, I would just throw in some beans dressed in simple vinaigrette. Or maybe with some grilled meat, if it is a bbq-ing weather.

Preheat the oven at 180º.
Place the radicchios in a large roasting dish and massage them generously with olive oil. Add orange juice and thyme leaves. Crumble the blue cheese and grate some parmesan cheese on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20mins. Then add walnuts and splash of balsamic vinegar. Roast for further 5-10mins until the edges of radicchios looks slightly charred and almost crisp.

In a mean time, prepare chickpeas by sautéing the onions in a medium sauce pan with little olive oil. Add garlic, herbs and chickpeas. Add white wine and stock. Bring it up to boil and simmer until the liquid has reduced down a little.
Season and finish it off with some lemon juice and parsley.

I used parmesan rind to give an extra depth of flavour and to thicken the sauce. It is not essential, but good way of using otherwise wasted rind.

Hope you enjoy.

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