Radicchio Strudel with Fontina Cheese
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2009, from Pretzhof Restaurant
I came across this recipe when it first appeared in Bon Appetit in the March 2009 issue. I made it a number of times, and then kind of forgot about it. It’s not hard to make, but you need to think a bit ahead in order to chill the dough. This recipe works best for a weekend meal so you can start the dough earlier in the day. Alternatively, if I’d like to make it during the week, I make the dough the day before I plan to cook the strudel. You could use other greens or cheeses. Here, cooking the bitter radicchio and pairing it with the sharp Fontina helps balance the flavors. I’ve also made it with kale and rainbow chard; just remember to remove the stems. If you do wish to add the stems in, make sure you sauté them until they are soft.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 8 First Course Servings or Sides
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided and at room temperature
½ cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese, well drained
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (about 6 ounces by weight)
1 9-10 ounce head of radicchio, cored and thinly sliced
2 cups coarsely grated Fontina cheese, divided
1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh herbs and Radicchio Leaves for garnish, optional
Stand Mixer, Rolling Pin, Baking Sheet, Parchment Paper, Skillet, Pastry Brush
Place ½ cup room temperature, unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until smooth. Beat in ½ cup well-drained ricotta cheese and ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt. Add the cup of flour and beat just until the dough comes together in moist clumps. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it. Wrap the ricotta dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
Just before removing the dough from the refrigerator, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet or medium heat. Add in the sliced radicchio and sprinkle with fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté the radicchio until it begins to wilt. This will take about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for another 2 minutes or so. Move the sautéed radicchio to a medium sized bowl and allow to cool a bit. When cool, mix in 1 cup of the shredded Fontina cheese.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Beat the egg for glazing.
Cut the ricotta dough in half. Sprinkle a work surface with a bit of flour and working with half the dough roll it into a long rectangle, about 16” x 8”. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Place half of the radicchio/Fontina filling along 1 long side of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border on each short side and on the long side closest to the filling. Brush the egg wash in a 1-inch strip on all sides. Fold in the short sides, and then starting with the filled edge, roll the strudel to completely encase the filling. Place the strudel seam side down on the parchment paper and brush the top with more egg glaze. I also like to cut slits in the top at angles, about 2 inches apart.
Repeat with the remaining dough and radicchio filling.
Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. They will puff and become nicely golden brown. Right after you remove the strudel from the oven, sprinkle the remaining shredded Fontina cheese over the top so it melts. Let the strudels rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Garnish with herbs or additional radicchio leaves if desired. This is great served with roast pork.
The strudel can be filled and chilled for a few hours before baking if you wish.