The nice folks at Royal Rose Radicchio sent me a ton of radicchio to try out. Radicchio is actually one of my favorite lettuces in salads and this gave me the chance to try it in some summer recipes. The radicchio pictured above is Radicchio di Chioggia. It's the most widely available variety and is especially prized for it's vibrant maroon color and sharp, intense flavor.
The first thing I did was try radicchio on the grill. This is super simple to do. I simply chopped up the heads, added salt and pepper and tossed the radicchio in a little olive oil. A word to the wise, radicchio doesn't really need a lot of salt so use a light hand. Then it was into the grill basket and on to the fire.
This took about four minutes and we had this beautiful grilled side dish to accompany our steaks.
Next up I tried the Radicchio di Treviso. This comes from the Italian region of Veneto. It reminds me of romaine lettuce or a huge Belgian endive. Treviso has a milder taste but still imparts the bitter flavor radicchio is known for.
It was one of those nights when I was running around the house like a crazy person. I wasn't expecting my designated eater home in time for dinner so my big plan was a bagel on the couch while I watched Dr. Who. That all came to a screeching halt when he walked in. What to fix, what to fix?? I went rummaging through the pantry and came up with some dried spaghetti and found some bacon in the freezer. Okay, we were in business, I had some parmesan cheese hanging out in the frig but what could I use for a vegetable?? Ah ha! Radicchio to the rescue! I shredded up my two remaining heads and started the pasta boiling. I sauted the bacon and added the cut up radicchio to the pan.
Less than 15 minutes latter we had this gourgeous pasta. I'm sorry about the picture, next time I decide to shoot pasta in an orange bowl, someone shoot me. Uggh....icky color combination. Regardless of how the picture is, the pasta was delicious. the radicchio added just the right amount of bitter to cut through the richness of the bacon and the cheese.
So the next time you're in the store pick up a head or two of Royal Rose Radicchio and be sure to check their website for recipes and tips. Enjoy!