Mozzarella With Charred Radicchio and Salsa Verde
A simple, pleasurable contrast: Sweet, milky mozzarella is paired here with slightly bitter radicchio, blackened and smoky from high heat. Coating both is a salsa verde made with extra-virgin olive oil, green herbs and a touch of caper and lemon. You want really good mozzarella, and it must not be served straight from the refrigerator. Allow it to come to cool room temperature, and it will taste a thousand times better (this is true of most cheeses, by the way).
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2radicchio heads, outer leaves removed
- ¾cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems
- ½cup chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
- 2tablespoons finely cut chives or scallion tops
- 1tablespoon roughly chopped capers
- 1teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- ½teaspoon sumac (optional)
- 1pound fresh mozzarella, at cool room temperature
Step 1Heat oven to 475 degrees. Cut radicchio heads in half, from top to bottom. Cut each half into 2 or 3 large wedges. Drizzle each piece lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay them on a baking sheet and place on the top oven shelf. Roast until radicchio wedges are somewhat softened and charred at the edges, about 15 minutes. (Alternatively, cook the radicchio under the broiler, on the grill, or in batches on the stovetop in a cast-iron pan over high heat.)
Step 2As radicchio cooks, put parsley, cilantro, chives, capers and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup oil, the lemon juice and sumac, if using. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3Cut the mozzarella crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. For each serving, put 2 or 3 slices on one side of the plate. Set 2 wedges charred radicchio beside the mozzarella. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons salsa verde in the middle.