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Smooth, crisp leaves offer a bitter flavor with a hint of spice.
An Italian Favorite!
The fresh heads will keep up to one week when wrapped in a paper towel and stored whole and unwashed in a bag in the refrigerator.
Radicchio is best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as steaming, roasting, grilling, braising, and sautéing. The bitter leaves can add flavor and complexity to fresh green salads, or they can be thinly sliced and mixed into coleslaws for texture, a sharp taste, and color. Radicchio is also popularly grilled and served with balsamic vinegar as a smoky, tangy side dish, tossed into soups and stews, or stir-fried and served with roasted meats. In Italy, radicchio is a staple ingredient used in everyday recipes, especially in Verona, and is incorporated into appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The red leaves are commonly cooked into pasta such as ravioli and cannelloni, mixed into risotto, lasagna, and casseroles, roasted as a pizza topping, or braised with meats and winter vegetables. Radicchio is also baked into torta di radicchio, which is a light cake that can be served as a dessert or with afternoon tea. Verona radicchio pairs well with red wine, honey, meats such as sausage, pancetta, pork, and poultry, seafood, chickpeas, polenta, mushrooms, cheeses such as gorgonzola, goat, and blue, pears, figs, white chocolate, and nuts such as pine, walnut, and hazelnut.
Radicchio is a good source of vitamin K, which is beneficial in helping the blood form clots for wound protection and contains vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system. The leaves also provide some minerals, including manganese, iron, copper, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium.