Welcome March. Welcome Italian Treasure Radicchio!
March is radicchio season in Treviso, Italy so it’s a good time to eat this red leafy wonder.
Sometimes called Italian Chicory, this unique bright red colored leaf vegetable is often one of the tri in tri colore salads in the US. But in Treviso Italy, it is used beyond salads in cooked pasta or even grilled vegetable plates.
While working for DeLonghi in Treviso, Italy (manufacturers of small kitchen appliances including espresso machines), I learned much about this local darling known as a celebrity veg in that region (and their fantastic Prosecco).
Slightly bitter & spicy in its raw form, the flavor in cooked form is mellow. First cultivated in the Veneto region of Italy in the 15th century, this red vegetable is now grown in 3 major areas of Italy.
Rich in vitamins B, C & K, it’s really a super food. Radicchio helps develop good gut bacteria, improves the immune system, decreases cholesterol, helps digestion, encourages weight loss, balances blood sugar levels & even promotes the healing of body cells.
So why aren’t we eating more?
Most of our radicchio in the US is imported from Italy, from that wonderful region I had the pleasure of visiting often in my corporate job. Some variety of radicchio is grown in CA.
In its raw form, radicchio gives the most nutrients served in salads and slaws for instance. Instead of red cabbage, try grated radicchio in your next cole slaw recipe. Keep it healthy by using a lemon vinaigrette dressing.
In Italy, it is often cooked in pasta dishes like this pretty Pappardella with Radicchio. Penne with Radicchio & Red Onions mixed with melted ricotta cheese was my first ever bite of the cooked form in Treviso in March of 2015. It was delectable & beautifully rich in color.
This March season, Chef Simon & I are working on 2 radicchio specials — 1 grilled radicchio appetizer & one pasta with radicchio.
If you have any ideas email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Watch for our upcoming Radicchio specials this month.