The radicchio, roasted and marinated, is extremely good without any of the other components—the herbs, the cheese, the dates—that push it over the top. If you're cooking for yourself, take the bare bones route. You could mix the marinated radicchio with a cooked grain, like farro, and some hard cheese for an instant take-to-work salad, or you could lay a fried egg over top for a quick dinner.
Or, if you want to make a dinner party show-stopper—or otherwise people-please—add all the goodies. Then serve with crusty bread and accept their praise.
fresh lemon juice, plus lemon zest from 1/2 lemon, divided
plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
salt and pepper, plus more to taste
radicchio, cored and coarsely chopped
large, squishy dates, pitted and quartered
mint, dill, and parsley, for garnish
chopped, toasted walnuts, for garnish
Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, 1/2 cup oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Put radicchio and dates in a baking dish (I use a 9- by 13-inch or an 8- by 8) and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Be sure to bury the dates a bit—you don't want them to burn under the heat of the broiler.
Broil the radicchio 5 to 6 inches from the heat source, turning occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes (you're looking to char and brown the leaves). Monitor closely so the radicchio doesn't burn.
Add the hot radicchio and dates to the bowl of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Cover the bowl and marinate, tossing occasionally, for at least an hour. Then remove the garlic cloves.
Spread or dollop the ricotta over a serving platter. Season with lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Spoon the radicchio and its marinade over top. Sprinkle with torn mint, dill, and parsley; top with chopped toasted walnuts. Sprinkle with more lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Serve with bread!