I have been unsure about the Radicchio, It has more green than red colour.
But the red colour comes from a process engineered in 1860 by the Belgian agronomist Francesco Van den Borre, who used a technique called imbianchimento (whitening),preforcing, or blanching to create the dark red, white-veined leaves. Radicchio plants are taken from the ground and placed in water in darkened sheds, where lack of light and ensuing inhibition of chlorophyll production cause the plants to lose their green pigmentation.(wikipedia)
So that is the secret. We will have to try that. Plus Radicchio is a perennial and we have plenty growing we had better get used to it. The first radicchio we picked was very bitter and inedible. However what we found out and now makes perfect sense was that traditionally in the UK the first picking of Chicory went to the compost heap and the second tender picking is the one that is eaten.
Well tonight we ate the second tender picking. It was delicious and not to bitter. I pan grilled it in olive oil once it was grilled I splashed on balsamic vinegar and served it with grilled tomatoes seasoned the dish with salt and pepper. A traditional way of cooking bitter vegetables both the oil and salt make the bitterness more palatable. It seems weird to grill green vegies but it actually works.
When growing radicchio some cover it during it’s last stages of growth, to bring more of the red shades into it. This I will try on the next lot of growth.
It is the bitter vegetables that are the healthiest. Bitterness is being bred out of our everyday cultivated vegetables. We need to cultivate our taste again for bitter greens.
Here’s to healthy leafy greens, thanks for visiting RosieG