Radiccio is a dark red, compact head of thin leafs. While it looks much like a fancy cabbage it is a member of the chicory family, which includes endive and escarole as well.
You will frequently find radicchio in packaged salad mixes. It’s the bright red, thin strips of lettuce that adds color and lots of nutrition. It has a strong, bitter flavor, and is a popular veggie in the Mediterranean region, particularly in Italy. It also is packed with antioxidants, cancer-fighting properties, and especially good for people with diabetes. Read more about the health benefits of radicchio right here.
Because it has such a strong flavor, it is best to use it in small quantities as a complement in a dish or prepare it in recipes that balance out the bitter flavor. Here are a few suggestions for you to try.
Simple suggestions from my foodie friends:
Salad: mix with other greens, add gorgonzola cheese, walnuts and vinagrette dressing
Pasta: cooked with pasta, garlic, and topped with parmesan cheese
Slaw – mix with other slaw ingredients and a vinagrette dressing topped with walnuts
Pizza: toss on top of a cheese pizza hot out of the oven
Cheesy pasta with Radicchio (Conchiglie Al Forno) by Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten
Endive and pomegranate salad by Susan Powers, Rawmazing Note: substitute endive with radicchio
Sauteed Radicchio with Honey and Balsamic Vinegar by Martha Stewart