Whited Bitter Leaves with Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

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On the Side A sourcebook of inspiring side dishesHere, a tray of mixed bitter leaves is grilled and scorched in wedges, which means the outer edges catch and wilt a little, but the inner cores retain colour and bite. The blue cheese dressing will not suit every meat, and fish rarely, but things like chicken, pork, beef, veal and many roast vegetables will get along with it nicely, particularly if you’ve got another, sweeter side nearby to cut through the cheesiness.

A few crumbled walnuts and/or thin slices of sharp apple such as Granny Smith thrown in at the end could be a welcome addition, depending on what the leaves are to be served with.

  • Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 round Chioggia radicchio or 3 heads (300–400 g) red chicory
  • 2 large heads (about 300 g) white chicory (Belgian endive)
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 40 g soft, creamy blue cheese such as Gorgonzola, Cambozola, Saint Agur or Danish blue
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the grill to medium. Cut the radicchio into quarters and the chicory in half, leaving the hardest part of each core intact. Pour 1 tablespoon sunflower oil into a baking tray. Roll the radicchio and chicory segments in the oil so that they’re slightly glossed. Arrange them, cut-side upwards, on the tray and place under the grill about 6 cm or so from the heat. Grill for 6 minutes, or until browned and wilted a bit, but not too much.
  2. Make the dressing in a large bowl by mixing the remaining sunflower oil and two thirds of the cheese with the back of a fork. When the cheese is soft and the sunflower oil has emulsified with the cheese, add the olive oil. Mash and mix again, then add the vinegar and a pinch of black pepper, whisking until all the components have come together.
  3. Remove the leaves from under the grill. Cut out and discard the hard cores so that the leaves separate. Toss them in the dressing, dot the remaining cheese over the top and serve immediately.
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