Radicchio – An Acerbic Gem

Radicchio - An Acerbic Gem

Chioggia Radicchio

Radicchio is a bitter “green” that is part of the chicory family. Eaten raw, it has an acerbic quality that benefits from strong additions such as blue cheese, balsamic vinegar, citrus, and nuts. The flavor will mellow when grilled or roasted. In Italy, the green is usually brushed with olive oil and grilled. In the United States, it is most often mixed into salads.

Radicchio has been around a long time. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historia, noted that it is good for insomnia as well as purifying the blood. He also mentions that the Egyptians are the ones who bred radicchio from its ancestor chicory.

Radicchio’s bitterness is due to intybin, which stimulates the appetite and digestive system, and acts as a tonic for the blood and liver. Its also a potent anti-malarial agent and has a sedative and analgesic effect. Its leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants such as zea-xanthin and lutein, which help protect the eyes from age-related macular disease by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays. Fresh leaves contain moderate amounts of essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). Radicchio is also an excellent source of vitamin K. For more information about radicchio, check out Sally and Tanya’s take on it.

Some Radicchio Recipe Ideas for you to try:

Roasted Balsamic Radicchio from Epicurious

Shaved Cauliflower & Radicchio Salad from Bon Appetit

Perfectly Grilled Radicchio from Food Network

Gorgonzola and Radicchio Risotto from Sunset Magazine

Grilled Radicchio Salad with Sherry Mustard Dressing from Epicurious

Butternut Squash and Radicchio Pappardelle from Epicurious

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2 Responses to “Radicchio – An Acerbic Gem”

  1. Whitney says:

    The radicchio was in the organic basket this week.

  2. Debbie says:

    Always in the past, you have posted things about the current week’s basket but I’m from Casper, Wy and there was none of this in the basket today? Just curious!

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