Sure you’ve seen it, likely you’ve tried it – but do you know how to say it? Radicchio is pronounced “rah-DEE-kee-oh”.
It is a type of Italian leaf chicory (like endive, frisée, or escarole) that ranges from pink in hue to a deep red. It has a slightly bitter, spicy flavour that can be mellowed with grilling. Radicchio is a delicious addition to salads and can also be enjoyed grilled or roasted with a little bit of olive oil.
- Choose heads of radicchio that are firm with bright-coloured leaves.
- Discard leaves that are dried, limp, torn, or mottled.
- The leaves should be tender, yet crisp with no wilting or browning.
Radicchio varieties are named after the places from which they are grown. The main ones you’ll see in grocery stores are typically Treviso or Chioggia.
How to store radicchio
- Store radicchio unwashed in the vegetable crisper for up to 3 days.
- Freezing radicchio is not recommended.
Radicchio tastes great raw, but some may want to mellow its flavour by mixing it with other sweeter greens. Radicchio is also complemented with acidic or citrusy flavours and slightly sweet dressings as well as fatty foods.
Radicchio provides a welcome pop of colour to dishes and is often served as part of a salad.
- Rinse in cold water to remove outer dirt or grit. The leaves on the inside should be clean.
- Cut in half vertically and cut out the dense core of the radicchio in a V shape (on each side) and discard.
- Chop as desired to accommodate your recipe.
Radicchio is best served raw, roasted or grilled.
- To roast them, quarter them and lay on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven at 400°F about 10-15 minutes on each side until tender.
- To grill them, quarter them and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place wedges directly on grill. Grill for 5-10 minutes on each side (depending on how hot the fire is) until nicely charred and tender.
Freezing or boiling radicchio is not recommended.
Radicchio goes well with olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar, capers, citrus, sour cream, bacon, tuna, walnuts, cheese, and cream-based pasta sauce.
A serving size of 100 g is just 23 calories and 0% fat.
Due to its vibrant colour, radicchio contains antioxidants lutein + zeaxanthin (8832 mcg per 100g). A serving has 15% of your daily requirement for folate, 13% of your daily dose of vitamin C and over 100% of your K! It is also a source of vitamins B6 and E, fibre, iron, potassium, manganese and copper.
Radicchio also contains inulin, which is a substance found in chicories (like endive, frisée, or escarole) that help regulate blood sugar.