Radicchio


   





The RAW article as referenced in Adelaide Magazine ....
All the things you wanted to do with radicchio but where afraid to ask ??????

Radicchio

Radicchio: a vibrant lettuce, member of the chicory family, is in season. A Mediterranean native it comes into its own after the first frost. It is truly a winter vegetable. Richly coloured red leaves with startling white veins have a slightly bitter nutty flavour profile & crisp texture, adding complexity to any dish. An Italian classy menu addition it contains calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, C & B3 B2.  Through history it has been used as a tonic.

There are 2 types of red radicchio the round Radicchio & the Traviso, more torpedo shaped.
The round ball like radicchio is punchy for salads, as the leaves are tightly packed around the heart. I like Traviso, the more torpedo shaped radicchio, which is a tad more bitter for cooking, grilling & searing.
A vegetable, it can be cooked steamed & blanched, it does change colour when cooked, a little vinegar or citrus can help to keep some purple vibrancy. I prefer searing or grilling it with seasoning & touch of sweetness in the form of honey or very dark brown sugar. Fabulous on top of gorgonzola pizza with walnuts or tossed through hand-made pasta with toasted pine nuts, fattened currents and caramelised onions topped with your favourite Italian cheese. Or make hearty rare beef sandwiches with shredded radicchio, walnuts & sour dough.

To buy healthy specimens look for lettuces with light loose outer leaves and firm centres. The centres should be brighter in colour than the outer leaves.

Radicchio, fennel, orange & hazelnut salad: Winter bitter green salads, so good for you can be so diverse, radicchio loves nut oils like hazelnut. Toss some red lettuce with rocket, in season orange slices, fennel bulb slices, chopped toasted hazel nuts, macrobiotic salt, grind of pepper, hazelnut oil, splash of orange juice.

Grilled Traviso with honey & gorgonzola: clean & cut Traviso radicchio in half, Season the cut edge with salt, pepper, lemon juice & a drizzle of honey. Caramelise the cut side in a pan in hot olive oil.  Sear the other side & place on a serving dish, top with Gorgonzola and finish with a twist of local honey and black pepper..... Pile on top of creamy risotto.

 Radicchio with chicken livers, rosemary & lemon: Sear cleaned & seasoned chicken livers with a sprig of rosemary, finished with a pinch of dark brown sugar. While the livers are resting, clean & toss radicchio leaves with hazel nut oil. Toss the leaves & the livers together with the sweet pan juices & finish with a squeeze of lemon.


 Radicchio anchovies chickpeas & Italian parsley: Dress cooked drained chick peas with loads of chopped Italian parsley, radicchio leaves, handfuls of WA anchovies, local olive oil, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar. A lovely winter side dish.










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