Dinner Tonight: Roasted Radicchio and Shrimp + Clementine Pound Cake

Virtuous and colorful: two words that should always be associated with a weeknight dinner at home, but too rarely are. Deep violet radicchio roasted with meaty, pink shrimp are a simple and brillant pairing. EmilyC adds a few halved cherry tomatoes, but it being the beginning of Feburary you may not want to use them (or maybe you do, we won't judge!). If this all sounds just a little too virtuous, well, unlike those cherry tomatoes, clementines are in season, which means that it'd probably be a good idea to make a pound cake with them. Like maybe SavvyJulie's? And if you decide to serve it with a sizeable dollop of whipped cream, even better.

The Menu

Roasted Radicchio with Shrimp and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette by EmilyC

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

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.

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.

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Clementine Pound Cake

Get the recipe for Clementine Pound Cake on Food52.

The Grocery List

Serves 4 (with pound cake leftover for breakfast or second dessert!)

2 heads radicchio
1 (generous) pound shrimp
3 strips bacon
1 shallot
1 cup cherry tomatoes (if using)
2 clementines (you probably have these around the house already right?)

We assume you have flour, butter, sugar (white and brown), eggs, vanilla, cardamom, milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar, and maple syrup. If not, you'll need to add those to the list, too!

The Plan

1.The pound cake is very straightforward. If you're super organized about it, you can do the whole thing in one bowl -- a must for a weeknight. It needs over an hour in the oven, though, so whip it up and pop it in before you worry about the shrimp.

2. The radicchio is quite simple, too. Just roast the radicchio, then the shrimp. Cook the bacon and whisk together the vinaigrette. Combine. Serve!

3. When the cake has cooled, and the dishes are done, whip some cream and slice yourself a big piece of cake. Dinner has been served, the day is done and it's time for dessert!

First photo by James Ransom; second photo by Sarah Shatz