A couple of months ago I attended a wine-tasting dinner at Mario Batali’s Osteria Mozza and one of the courses included prosciutto wrapped radicchio grilled over a wood fire. It was divine and I have been thinking about duplicating it ever since. Now that Southern California has emerged from the rainy season (AKA winter) we are grilling more often and when I found freshly harvested radicchio at the Farmers’ Market I knew the type was right.
I figured the asparagus would be delicious wrapped as well, so I added them too. The menu soon mushroomed to include baby cipolini onions, button mushrooms, grilled artichokes, and a simple marinade of chicken with lemon and salt and pepper.
As usual, my ambitions got the best of me, and while we enjoyed the several courses of grilled bounty that my little grill produced, I do not recommend this approach for a dinner party! This definitely was more of an experimental dinner in terms of the timing, although my guests attested to the deliciousness of all of it!
A few words about ingredients. You want the freshest radicchio possible, so don’t be afraid to ask your grocer when the radicchio arrived (you can also tell if the leaves look old, then stay clear!) Old radicchio is super bitter and will ruin beautiful pieces of expensive prosciutto, so don’t even bother if that’s the case. The prosciutto came from my favorite corporate purveyor, Trader Joe’s. It is American made but tastes great. By all means go to a local butcher if you have access to one who can cut it paper thin for you.
Grilled Radicchio and Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto
1 lb asparagus
5-6 small (fist size) radicchio
1 sheet of prosciutto for each radicchio; 1 for every two asparagus
Prepare grill to 450 degrees (if gas) or until only white coals remain if using charcoal. Spear radicchio with kabob sticks or grilling spikes to make them easier to turn and place on grill; place asparagus on grill. Grill 4-5 minutes on both sides until meat is cooked and radicchio is slightly wilted. Asparagus will be tender but not mushy. Last minute on grill drizzle both with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.