Radicchio and Roasted Grape Salad

Radicchio and Roasted Grape Salad.jpg

It was at Enoteca Sociale in Toronto that I first tried a dish similar to this one and I was blown away by the intensity of its flavour. The slight bitterness of radicchio is offset by the sweetness of the grapes, which become even sweeter through roasting. In the version here, a pistachio crumble provides the final salty touch and rich pecorino biscuits served as an accompaniment are always a big hit. They can be made up to a day ahead of time and reheated in a 350 F oven. (Use pecorino Romano, a salty hard cheese made from sheep’s milk. Another type, pecorino Toscano or sardo, is sweeter, softer and nutty-flavoured. It’s wonderful served with pears but it’s not for cooking.)

Servings: 4



  • 2 small heads radicchio
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound (500 grams) red seedless grapes


  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano

Pecorino shortcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated pecorino Romano, separated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup light cream


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Cut each radicchio through the core into 4 wedges. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, toss grapes with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

Place radicchio on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges start to brown and radicchio softens slightly. Transfer to a platter. Place grapes on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until grapes have just softened and the skins are beginning to split. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325 F.

To make the dressing, stir together lemon juice, mayonnaise and honey in a bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

To make the garnish, combine parsley, pistachios and pecorino. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

To make the shortcakes, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, chili flakes and chives in a large bowl to make biscuits. Cut in butter with fingertips or two knives until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecorino, reserving 2 tbsp for the topping.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add eggs and cream. Stir together with the flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead until dough holds together, sprinkling with more flour if needed. The dough should be soft and supple.Roll dough out into a rectangle about a 1/2-inch thick. With a 3-inch (7.5-centimetre) cookie cutter, cut out circles of dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, brush tops with a little extra cream and sprinkle with remaining pecorino.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are brown. Cool on a rack.

To plate the salad, toss the radicchio and grapes with the dressing. Divide among 4 plates, sprinkling the pistachio garnish overtop. Serve with a pecorino shortcake on the side.