We're drawing near to the holidays.
Oh, shut my mouth! Near? Heavens. Not a chance.
We're not even into October yet, but do you see Thanksgiving and Christmas decor in the stores? You bet you do!
Note to self: Breathe. Family holidays are 8 - 12 weeks away. You don't have to do the annual card. You don't have to think about where to put everyone in the house. You don't have to make hotel reservations or stock the shelves. Breathe!
But I do have to think about eating and feeding possible weekend guests that like to watch football. Appetizers are a staple. Yes, I serve chips and dip and beer and wine, but I have to admit, I like elegant appetizers that are pretty and tasty.
So here's an easy one, inspired by a recipe I found in the Los Angeles Times Food Section, with ingredients that were pretty new to me. I've had radicchio in salads. But I've never grilled it. I tweaked the recipe to my tastes. Extra garlic. Extra salt. Gluten-free crackers/bread toasts.
It was colorful and the textures were great.
Radicchio and Burrata Cheese Appetizers
1 pound radicchio
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 baguette (or crackers/ gluten-free crackers)
½ pound burrata (or fresh Mozzarella)
Fresh ground pepper
Trim ends of radicchio, then cut lengthwise and lengthwise again. Then cut into ribbons, about ¼” wide.
In a large saute pan, combine the radicchio and oil, garlic, salt and vinegar. Cook over medium-low until radicchio is soft, about 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to low and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. [NOTE: REMOVE THE GARLIC before serving.]
Slice the baguette into ½ inch slices and toast on both sides in the oven, at 300 degrees. About five minute a side. You can also toast them in oil in a saute pan. You can also “buy” toasted baguettes or use crackers or gluten-free crackers.
Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the radicchio mixture onto the bread or cracker and top with a teaspoon of burrata cheese or thin slices of fresh Mozzarella. Grind black pepper over all of them and sprinkle with paprika. If you like, you can drizzle more olive oil over each.
*The tart radicchio with the creamy cheese is a winning combination.
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