Radicchio is an all-star winter vegetable and we can’t deny how perfect its burgundy-red hues are for Valentine’s Day. Coincidence? We think not.
While radicchio looks like a small red cabbage, it is actually not a cabbage at all. The low-calorie vegetable is a member of the chicory family. It is readily available in markets year round but at its best during its peak season January through April. The champion veg has a slightly bitter and unique spicy taste which is why it is popular to serve raw and chopped in salads or slaws. The standout salad ingredient is packed with fiber, vitamin C and potassium. And radicchio is filled with flavonoids and antioxidants that rival our healthy faves like blueberries and spinach.
The magenta colored vegetable should be similar in size to a head of lettuce, but much lighter than cabbage. Pick a radicchio that is undamaged. The ends can be slightly brown but avoid the icky look. You can keep radicchio wrapped in plastic or in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for about a week after purchase.
Even with its bitter flavor, the radicchio is still incredibly versatile. You can eat it raw or warm and its strong flavor causes it to pair nicely with sweet or pungent accents. Here are some radicchio recipes to get the magic started:
- You will never order delivery pizza again after you taste this balsamic and honey radicchio pizza (via Easy Eats).
- Stuff your raviolis with the winter gem (via Bon Appetit).
- Mix radicchio into your risotto creations (via Real Simple).
- Lose the bitterness of the winter veg by making this grilled radicchio salad (via Simply Recipes).
- Too bad it is not picnic season because this chicken and radicchio pasta salad would fit right in (via A Full Measure of Happiness).
We definitely say to add the radicchio to your cooking rainbow!
Will you be picking up some radicchio? What would you make with it?