Radicchio is one of my favourite salad leaves, particularly because its not a salad leaf you generally find in a supermarket. Ocassionally a paltry 3-4 leaves can be found hidden amongst iceberg and rocket in those mixed salad bags, but generally it's something you have to seek out at a well stocked Greengrocer, Farmers Market, or in your Lee Greens bag.
If you're not sure what to do with its incredibly bitter tasting stunning purple leaves, here are 5 ideas, that extend beyond a simple salad.
1. Cook in wedges. We often get radicchio leaves in Ripple Farm's mixed stir fry or salad bags, but I get especially excited when we receive the whole head. This is not just becuase I really like the flavour of radicchio, but because having the whole piece means you can cut it into wedges to be charred, roasted of grilled.
Charred Radicchio Wedge Salad
2. Shred and add to pasta. In this simple pasta dish, a touch of balsamic vinegar is added to the sauted radicchio to sweeten it slightly. This is an excellent speedy seasonal midweek supper option
Radicchio & Walnut Spaghetti
3. Pair with orange. Radicchio is bitter, oranges are sweet. They therefore complement each other perfectly. If you can get hold of any blood oranges, even better.
Za'atar Roasted Sweet Potato with Radicchio, Orange and Falafel
4. Use the whole leaf as a cup. You'll have seen a gem lettuce leaf used as a cup before, but why not use a radicchio leaf in the same way?
Radicchio Cups, Beetroot and Orange
5. Make a red wine risotto. The red wine and radicchio give this recipe an incredible red tinge. To finish it off I recommned crumbling in a little blue cheese. Divine!
Radicchio and Red Wine Risotto
Let us know how you get along with your radicchio. What's your preffered way to serve it?
by Ceri Jones