Livens up any winter salad.
Eating salad in winter can be a bit depressing. Cold food on a cold day. Added to which, this month, you may be trying to watch your weight. That is why radicchio is a magic ingredient to liven up any salad - it not only brings colour in the form of deep purple-red veined leaves, and crunchiness, but also a delicious slightly bitter spicy taste.
Radicchio is red leaf Italian chicory. It is grown in the Veneto and Trentino regions of Italy. There are many different varieties, each named after the place they originated. Ocado stock four varieties supplied by the brand Natoora, including radicchio Trevisano Tardivo ,which has long leaves and is more often used in cooking (chop it into a risotto); radicchio di Verona; pink radicchio from Verona (which is a very pretty colour); and the radicchio di Chioggia. All these last three are primarily used in salads and I tend to favour the one from Chioggia.
It is at its best chopped and mixed with other chopped salad leaves: Iceberg or Romaine lettuce: or balancing the slight pepperiness of rocket. I like to dress it simply, in the Italian fashion, with fruity olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar, whose sweetness perfectly balances the bitter edge of the radicchio. Even better if you throw into the salad a few slivers of Parmesan.
It can also be grilled or roasted – just quarter the radicchio and cook in a grill pan with a little olive oil brushed onto it until it wilts and chars slightly and serve with Parma ham or mozzarella for a light lunch.
A life saver this month.
Natoora Radicchio di Chioggia
Natoora Radicchio di Verona (300g)
Natoora Pink Radicchio from Verona (200g)
Natoora Trevisan Tardivo (200g)
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