Radicalized Radicchio

I do not like radicchio.

Full stop.

Maybe that’s not the most enticing way to start a post about a radicchio recipe, but I’m nothing if not honest here.

Radicchio, miniature heads of tender red leaf lettuce, have a delicate, feathery appearance. They seem ethereal, soft as if they could float away, yet eye-catching for their molted mulberry hue.

Bitterness is not a bad thing in itself; it’s essential for contrast and balance in a dish, to fully appreciate sweetness when it rings true. The bitterness in radicchio, however, is something else. It’s bitter like a freezing rain whipping in a cold wind. It’s bitter like Ebenezer Scrooge before his encounter with three spirits.

Radicchio macro

How can you tame the bitterness of radicchio?

All is not lost when radicchio darkens your vegetable crisper. The secret is really quite simple:

  1. Cut it into thin strips or finely shave it.
  2. Soak it in ice water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Drain and thoroughly dry.

That’s it! Like magic, the once biting acridity has been de-fanged. Now the question remains…

What’s the best way to cook radicchio?

Actually, that’s a trick question. While it is suitable for stir-frying, sauteing, braising, and roasting, I happen to find the milder version quite pleasant raw.

Radicchio Purple Potato Salad

Allow me to introduce: The Purple Potato Salad.

Unlike conventional takes on the concept, the potatoes are roasted with autumnal herbs and spices for a warm finish and crispy edges. It’s still all about contrasts here, with fresh radicchio providing a tender-crisp bite against the creamy flesh of purple sweet potatoes. More floral and fragrant than their orange brethren, they’re worth seeking out for a truly showstopping magenta masterpiece. Nutty, buttery roasted chestnuts round out any remaining sharp edges to the radicchio, coupled with the crunch of toasted pine nuts. Like any thoughtful salad, it’s not just a random pile of leftover ingredients, but a carefully assembled composition.

How can you make this recipe your own?

Think seasonally and you can’t go too far wrong. Other complimentary additions could include:

Radicchio Purple Potato Salad

Still think radicchio is beyond redemption?

Take it from a reformed hater: It’s all about proper prep. Anything can be made delicious with the right care and attention. If this Radicchio and Roasted Purple Potato Salad doesn’t change your mind, I don’t know what will.

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

Radicchio and Roasted Purple Potato Salad

Radicchio and Roasted Purple Potato Salad

This salad is a bold study in contrasts. Fresh radicchio provides a tender-crisp bite against the creamy flesh of purple sweet potatoes, buttery chestnuts, crisp green apples, and crunchy pine nuts. It's a seasonal celebration that will make you love your veggies.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


Roasted Purple Potatoes:

  • 1 Large (1 Pound) Purple Sweet Potato, Peeled and Cut Into 1/2-Inch Cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt


  • 1 Head (3/4 Pound) Radicchio, Quartered, Cored, and Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Pound Roasted Chestnuts, Quartered
  • 1 Small Green Apple, Cored, Quartered, and Thinly Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt


  1. To prepare the roasted purple sweet potatoes, peel and dice the potatoes and toss them with the oil, rosemary, thyme, sage, pepper, and salt. Air fry at 370 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until fork tender and lightly browned on the outside. Alternately, you can bake them in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, place the sliced radicchio in a large bowl and fill with ice cold water, to cover. Let stand for 30 minutes while the potatoes roast and cool. Thoroughly drain and spin dry before returning to a large bowl.

  3. Add the roasted purple sweet potatoes, chestnuts, apple, and pine nuts. In a separate dish, whisk together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and salt. Pour the dressing all over vegetables and toss to coat.

  4. Serve right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. It's best enjoyed fresh, or stored separately from the dressing if needed, as the radicchio will become softer the longer it sits.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 252mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

5 thoughts on “Radicalized Radicchio

  1. That sounds pretty good, Hannah, even more so as I haven’t had dinner yet, always a dangerous situation when looking at recipes. :-) But I think it would sound good any time.

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