Although it looks like a small red cabbage, radicchio belongs to the chicory family. This small, vivid veggie packs a punch of flavor, with a chewy texture and slightly bitter taste. Jam-packed with big flavors, it has big health payoffs too, especially when eaten raw.
BEST STORAGE PRACTICES:
Store radicchio in the veggie bin of your refrigerator (32-36 degrees F) for up to 3 weeks.
FUN WAYS TO EAT AND COOK:
Radicchio is great as a leafy salad vegetable, and it adds a sharp, pungent flavor. Eat it raw in salads, or lightly grill or sauté it to add to salads, pasta dished, stews or risotto. To prepare, trim the outer leaves, wash the head in cool running water. Cut the head into quarters, wedges, or slices and use raw or cook.
Select fresh, compact, bright wine-red colored heads with prominent mid-ribs. Avoid radicchio with cracks, spots, or mechanical bruising on the leaves.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO EAT:
- Low in calories and high in minerals like manganese, copper, iron, zinc and potassium
- Good source of lactucopicrin, a potent anti-malarial agent with a sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect
- Good source of vitamin K (strengthens bone formation) and a moderate amount of essential B-complex groups of vitamins (folic acid, B6, B3, etc.)
WHEN IT’S IN SEASON:
Generally a late season winter veggie, but in colder climates it can also be found in the fall and spring.
Roasted Radicchio – Wash and quarter radicchio. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet into a 400 degree F oven and roast for 12-15 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar and serve.
Radicchio Salad with Golden Raisins – Core and thinly slice washed radicchio (2 heads) and set aside. Mix 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup olive oil and 4 teaspoons of sugar in a large bowl. Add radicchio and 1/2 cup golden raising. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.