My recent post about Endives proved pretty popular. Judging by the comments people made, this is obviously a vegetable that you either love or hate. I'm going to continue the Endive / Chicory theme here by showcasing Radicchio (which of course is just another type of Chicory). Radicchio has to be one of my favourite plants. I love it for its flavour, its texture and above all for its colour.
A Radicchio plant just harvested doesn't look particularly special, since its outer leaves will probably be a bit ragged, rather dull and mostly green.
But when you start stripping off those outer leaves an altogether different picture is revealed.
The closer to the heart you get, the more vibrant the red colour becomes. The small inner leaves are more of a pink colour than a red one, whereas the outer ones are of a deeper, almost crimson, hue.
The bit of this veg that you will be able to eat represents about a quarter of the size of the vegetable when you first cut it!
Anyway, unless you are planning to cook the Radicchio (in which case it will reduce in volume a lot), this amount of leaves is probably quite sufficient. One like this will easily provide a salad for two people - even more if you mix it with other ingredients. Incidentally, Radicchio keeps for ages in the fridge if you do happen to find yourself with too much of it. Here's a photo of the (very) Red Salad I made with mine...
Just for the record, the dressing we had with this was Cassis vinegar and homemade Chilli oil (not actually red, but conceptually red!).
Before eating this Radicchio however, I decided to record for posterity its final moments, in suitably artistic style...
For those who prefer Green Salad to Red Salad, I offer you this "greened" Radicchio:
And for those of you who prefer blanched Radicchio, I've blanched one for you...
A little tip for if you are planning to grow Radicchio: when you cut it, sever the stem at ground level, but leave the root in the soil. If you're lucky, it will re-sprout in the Spring, giving you a small crop of delicate pink leaves. Alternatively you could dig up the roots, plant them in pots and bring them indoors for blanching.
P.S. I have no idea what variety of Radicchio this one was. It came out of a mixed pack that I bought from Seeds of Italy. That pack had a huge number of seeds in it (allegedly 4800), and has kept me well-supplied with chicories for the last 2 years.
"conceptually red"....I that that ;-) including the presentation plate...beautiful.ReplyDelete
Have never tried growing Radicchio...maybe this is the year.
Marvellous images Mark, especially the salad and dish. Radicchio is decidedly photogenic.ReplyDelete
You are obviously a frustrated artist Mark - if only I could have you on hand to photograph my veggies for me. What do you edit them on?ReplyDelete
Elaine; I'm going to post about photo-editing tomorrow. Watch this space...ReplyDelete
...and then you eat them... how could you?ReplyDelete
I was going to post some photo's of my runner beans but I'm afraid they'll not be works of art like your's :(
Informative AND beautiful post! Not something I have grown...or tasted.ReplyDelete
I like raddichio grilled. You've done that before I suppose?ReplyDelete
Gorgeous pictures! Eagerly waiting your photo editing post. I could get plenty of tips.ReplyDelete
I've only tried raddichio once and really didn't like it. Maybe I should give it another go, you make it look so glam!!ReplyDelete
Lovely pics Mark - raddichio and crumbled blue cheese is my favourite....yum.....xxxReplyDelete
Looks like I'm not the only one with a chicory obsession! Just bought a packet of Seeds of Italy's radicchio mix, thanks for the preview. Am enormously jealous that Seeds of Italy seems to have a stronger presence there than in the States, fantastic sounding workshops they offer...ReplyDelete
Your salad looks fantstic. A salad type I haven't much knowledge of so quite interesting.ReplyDelete
Hmmm....left a comment but guess it didn't go through. Love the pics! I think this is the Verona variety :)ReplyDelete
Wow thanks for the great information. I have never grown radicchio I guess I will have to give it a try. I live in a very cold winter area. Would I be best to grow it in the spring or fall?ReplyDelete
Hi Stoney Acres; This type of Radicchio needs cold weather to make it turn red, so I suggest sowing it in Summer for an Autumn (Fall) crop. If you sow it in the Spring it will probably bolt before it matures. You can however get other types of Chicory which are intended for Spring sowing if that's what you want.ReplyDelete
Lovely, lovely photos as usual.Looking forward to learning about photo editing.ReplyDelete
I am putting together a post about lotus root to be published on Friday and you got me thinking: Wouldn't lotus root and radicchio make a great salad combo????? If only I had a radicchio to give it a try. Well, together they will make great photos, I think.
I think radichio is a gorgeous plant but a little bit goes a long way for me. I have not grown it in many years and am feeling inspired by your posts to tuck a few in the garden in 2012.ReplyDelete
I recently started buying "organic baby spring" salad mix from the store (yes, it gets quite pricy!) and love the taste of it. But I am getting tired of always having too little or too much salad mix and plan to start growing my own. Since I know very little about salad mixes beyond iceberg lettuce, I copied down what "greens" (and reds) are in the baby spring mix. I was surprised to see "radicchio" among the list. I'm not sure what I thought radicchio was, but I did not realize it was a salad green. lol!! I hope to grow some this year. Thanks for the tips on growing it. Your pictures are lovely.ReplyDelete