Roasted Radicchio and Shrimp with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

September 10, 2012

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

This dish is inspired by a warm radicchio and shrimp salad I had at FIG in Charleston SC. That dish left a lasting impression – not just for me but my dining companions. The combination of slightly warmed radicchio with sautéed shrimp was unexpected and delicious. Back at home, I decided to do a roasted version instead of preparing its components stove top. I love the mellowed bitterness of roasted radicchio – and roasting is one of my favorite methods of cooking shrimp. To dress the salad, I opted for a warm bacon vinaigrette that can be prepped during the last few minutes of roasting. The saltiness of the bacon, the hit of acidity from the balsamic vinegar, and the subtle sweetness from the maple syrup tie all of the flavors together – and then cherry tomatoes, slightly warmed by the vinaigrette, lend a nice freshness. It’s not the salad I remember, yet it’s a pretty delicious version of it. Bonus points that it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner but special enough for entertaining.


Food52 Review: WHO: EmilyC is a cook who lives in Arlington, Virginia.
WHAT: A radicchio salad that brings bitter, sour, and sweet together in perfect balance.
HOW: While balsamic-kissed radicchio roasts in the oven, the bacon vinaigrette simmers on the stove. Toss the shrimp in at the last minute, toss it all together, and serve.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This one is as good warm from the oven as it is at room temperature -- perfect for potlucks, picnics, and lunches.
The Editors

Serves: 2 to 3 as a main course; 4 to 6 as a side dish


  • 2 small heads radicchio
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 strips of bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into lardons
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or to taste; see note in step 5)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or chives
In This Recipe


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. To prep radicchio: Remove any wilted or bruised outer leaves, then cut the radicchio in half lengthwise through the core. Place the halves cut side down, then cut each half into four wedges, leaving the root end intact. In a large bowl, gently toss the wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper. Place the wedges cut side down in a casserole dish—you want them to fit snugly in the pan. Let the radicchio marinate at room temperature while your oven is preheating.
  3. To prep shrimp: Toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper; then arrange on a baking sheet or casserole. (Note: Use separate pans for roasting the shrimp and radicchio because they’ll have different cooking times.)
  4. To roast radicchio and shrimp: Roast the radicchio about 15 to 18 minutes, turning once, or until tender and the leaves are starting to caramelize and slightly wilt and crisp around the edges. When the radicchio is close to done, put in the shrimp. Cook the shrimp just until they’re pink and firm, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove both from the oven, and place the radicchio wedges on a cutting board. Chop them into bite-size pieces, and combine with shrimp in a large bowl.
  5. To prepare warm bacon vinaigrette: In a large skillet cook the bacon in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over moderately high heat until it's rendered its fat and is starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook another minute, just to warm through and soften. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and cherry tomatoes. (Since balsamic vinegars vary so much in their sweetness, you may want to add more or less maple syrup. Taste a piece of your roasted radicchio as well -- let its level of bitterness guide the sweetness of your vinaigrette.)
  6. Add the vinaigrette to the radicchio and shrimp, and toss to combine. Place salad on large serving platter. Scatter the parsley or chives over the top and serve warm or at room temperature.

More Great Recipes:
Salad Dressing|Bacon|Chive|Maple Syrup|Mustard|Parsley|Radicchio|Shallot|Vegetable|Vinegar|Shrimp|Fall

Reviews (53) Questions (2)

53 Reviews

Margaret L. November 5, 2016
I made this with radicchio, and while I loved it, my spouse is less enthused about bitter flavors. I loved it so much, I didn't want to give up the recipe, so I made it again, substituting oven-roasted slabs of green cabbage for the radicchio. Once the cabbage had roasted, I chopped it roughly and tossed it with the shrimp and bacon vinaigrette. Yowza, is it good! It's not the same dish, for sure, but it's a great variation, one that DH can enjoy, too.
Author Comment
EmilyC December 6, 2016
So sorry I missed your comment, Margaret! I LOVE the idea of subbing cabbage for those who aren't wild about radicchio! Thanks for trying this and circling back!
roryrabbitfield March 13, 2016
I made this dish tonight and it was amazing. I used scallops instead of shrimp. It was easy to make, didn't take too long. I will put this into my rotation!
Author Comment
EmilyC March 13, 2016
Scallops are a nice idea! Really glad you liked this -- it's one of my favorites! Thanks for trying this and letting me know.
Ashley M. December 26, 2013
It looks like the original recipe is now online!
Magnetic M. February 9, 2013
I just made this tonight for dinner! What a hit! DH went back for seconds....Definitely going to add it to my entertaining menu.
Author Comment
EmilyC February 11, 2013
This is great to hear, Magnetic Mags! Thanks for trying it!
loubaby December 10, 2012
I have made this twice now and everyone loves it. The first time I followed your directions and cut up the radicchio, but found it looked a little sloppy on the plate, though tasted delicious. The second time for a luncheon of 9 ladies, I left the quartered radicchio as is and spooned the rest tumbling over it...and it looked nicer on the plate and still tasted delicious. Thanks for such a unique recipe.
Author Comment
EmilyC December 11, 2012
loubaby -- thanks so much for trying this and reporting back! I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying the recipe.
TheWimpyVegetarian October 22, 2012
This looks just amazing Emily! I want to make it this week. It's perfect for this time of year.
Author Comment
EmilyC October 22, 2012
Thanks ChezSuzanne -- I'd be thrilled if you try it. Let me know what you think if you do!
TheWimpyVegetarian October 22, 2012
Will do :-)
TheWimpyVegetarian November 15, 2012
Hi Emily! I've made this twice now, and just love it. I made it the first time with frisee because I couldn't (amazingly) find any radicchio, and the second time with radicchio. I found the dressing to be spot on. The frisee was a little too fragile for the roasting and might have been better with a quick saute, I should have know better, but the radicchio was perfect!! My husband added some feta to his, because he's incapable of eating anything without cheese, and loved it :-) Thanks so much for a great, great recipe!
Author Comment
EmilyC November 15, 2012
I'm thrilled that you're enjoying the recipe, CS! Your comment put a big smile on my face. Thanks so much for trying it and letting me know your thoughts. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 15, 2012
You too!!!
Kukla October 5, 2012
Congratulations Emily! Well deserved and I am very happy for you!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 5, 2012
Aw, thank you Kukla, that's very nice of you.
cookinginvictoria October 4, 2012
Congratulations, Emily! What a great combination of flavors you have going on here. I love grilled radicchio and who could resist bacon vinaigrettte? Cannot wait to try this gorgeous salad!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2012
Thanks for your nice comment, civ! Let me know your thoughts if you try it!
Bevi October 4, 2012
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2012
Thanks Bevi!
mrslarkin October 4, 2012
Congrats Emily!!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2012
Thanks mrslarkin -- appreciate it!
fiveandspice October 4, 2012
Congratulations EmilyC!!!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2012
Thanks 5&s! It's pretty neat that a busy work week dinner I made a few weeks ago is highlighted on the site! : )
em-i-lis October 3, 2012
congrats, emily!!!!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 4, 2012
Thanks so much, em!
slidedtd October 2, 2012
This looks amazing! Really hope this wins out for Best luttuce contest!!! The lettuce is lost in the other finalist's dish!
Author Comment
EmilyC October 3, 2012
Thanks slidedtd -- though I think that green harissa looks pretty darn awesome!
Brussels S. September 28, 2012
Yum! Looks fantastic!! Congratulations!
Author Comment
EmilyC September 28, 2012
Thanks BSfB!
fiveandspice September 28, 2012
Congrats Emily! This is totally gorgeous!
Author Comment
EmilyC September 28, 2012
Thanks fiveandspice! Its colors are very appropriate for autumn, aren't they? : )
em-i-lis September 28, 2012
Emily, this looks wonderful!!!! Congratulations!
Author Comment
EmilyC September 28, 2012
Thanks so much em!
mrslarkin September 27, 2012
Congrats Emily! Such great flavors here.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thank you mrslarkin!
BlueKaleRoad September 27, 2012
Congratulations, Emily! Grilled radicchio sounds amazing - you've created a beautiful salad.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks BKR for the nice comment!
Midge September 27, 2012
Congrats EmilyC. Can't wait to give this a try. FIG is the best.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks Midge! And I couldn't agree more about FIG...would love to go back as it's been a long time.
MenCanCook September 27, 2012
This recipe sounds great, Emily! I tested another in this contest and wish I had tested yours. You have to get the flavors just right to capitalize on the bitterness of the radicchio and you nailed it.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks for this, MenCanCook!
savorthis September 27, 2012
Congratulations Emily! I was a tester for this recipe and because my husband is not a fan of bitter things I got to enjoy it three times. Here is the review I sent in: <br />The sweet smokey dressing in this dish melded nicely with the slight bitterness of the radicchio that remained (though some might still find it pretty bitter). It was even better the next day having marinated overnight. I had added lemon juice and lots of parsley which added some great vibrancy and I threw some butter beans in on day two for a salad meal. EmilyC made great dual use of both the oven for cooking and the bacon fat for a dressing. This was a nice dish overall and would also be great with roasted sweet potatoes or squash.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
savorthis...thanks so much for testing and your nice review! Really appreciate it. I'm happy to hear that leftovers keep well, too.
Kukla September 27, 2012
Congratulations EmilyC!! Very glad to see your recipe as a finalist!
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks, Kukla, you're very kind!
gingerroot September 27, 2012
Congrats EmilyC! This is a beautiful salad.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks gingerroot! I almost didn't recognize it as mine when I saw James' gorgeous photo!
hardlikearmour September 27, 2012
Congratulations, EmC! This recipe sounds truly delicious.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 27, 2012
Thanks HLA! And congrats to you!
savorthis September 11, 2012
I had a balsamic glazed, grilled radicchio in SF years ago that I tried to recreate. I never quite succeeded in reducing the bitter enough. This sounds great, though. I bet your dressing does the trick.
Author Comment
EmilyC September 11, 2012
Thanks! I know exactly what you're talking about. I've found that it's good to use an aged, sweeter variety of balsamic -- cheaper varieties can be too astringent and heighten the bitterness. I also found the touch of maple syrup to be key in balancing out the flavors.