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On the barbecue or in salad, ways to enjoy radicchio.

Resembling small, loose-leaf cabbages, red-purple radicchio is appearing with increasing regularly in markets with well-stocked produce sections Unlike cabbage, radicchio has very tender leaves; they are almost waxy smooth, with the same delicate bitter flavor so appealing in Belgian endive, to which it is botanically related. And like Belgian endive, radicchio bears a premium price tag, running from $4 to $8 per pound. Heads range from 2 to 5 inches in diameter; a 5-inch head weighs up to 12 ounces.

Much of the radicchio sold in markets is imported from Italy. Domestic production in California has begun to increase, and radicchio should be available soon on a year-round basis. You can also grow your own (for details, see page 116).

We present four different ways to enjoy radicchio. Our first recipe calls for cooking it on the barbeque grill, where the bright leaves wither slightly to brown and the flavor is intensified. The next two recipes recognize radicchio's merits as a salad ingredient, utilizing its cup-shaped leaves to hold herb cheese in one, shrimp in another. The final recipe extends it by mixing it with tender butter lettuce; the color contrast is striking. Barbequed Radicchio

2 tablespoons silvered Black Forest, Westphalian, or prosciutto ham, or dry salami

1/3 cup olive or sals oil

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

3 heads (4 to 5 in diameter each) radicchio, cut in half lenghtwise, rinsed and drained Salt and pepper

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, warm ham in oil over low heat, uncovered, until oil picks up flavor of ham, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar.

Brush oil mixture lightly over radicchio halves. Place, cut side down, on a barbeque grill about 6 inches above a solid bed of hot coals. Grill, turning once, until hot and browned, 3 to 5 minutes on cut side, 2 to 3 minutes on uncut side.

Spoon remaining oil mixture over radicchio, season with salt and pepper, and serve. Makes 6 servings as an accompaniment to meat or pasta. Radicchio Nests with Cheese and Zucchini

1 head (4- to 5-in. diameter) radicchio

8 medium-size (1-in. diameter) zucchini

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine pepper

3 packages (4-1/2 oz. each) herb cream cheese Sprigs of Italian parsely, thyme marjoram, or oregano

Cut core out of radicchio and remove 8 of the largest leaves (save remaining leaves for salads). Rinse leaves, wrap in paper towels, and enclose in a plastic bag, chill to crisp, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Trim off and dicard ends of zucchini. Slice each zucchini lenghtwise in 4 equal pieces (if you want both sides of zucchini slices to be white, cut skin off the 2 outside slices).

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat, melt butter. When hot, add as many zucchini slices as will fit in the pan Fry uncovered until light golden, about 4 minute on each side. Lift from pan and keep warm, continue until all zucchini slices are cooked. Sprinkle lightly with pepper.

With a spoon, scoop cheese into 8 rounds. Put each radicchio leaf on a salad plate and fill with a portion of the cheese.

Place 4 warm sauted zucchini slices fanning out from radicchio on each plte. Garnish with parsely. Makes 8 first-course or luncheon salads. Radicchio, Shrimp, and Dill Salad

1 head (4- to 5-in. diameter) radicchio

1 to 2 tablespoons silvered Black Forest, Westphalian, or prosciutto ham, or dry salami

1/3 cup olive or salad oil

1 pound small cooked shrimp

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh drill salt and pepper fresh dill sprigs

Cut core out of radicchio and remove 8 of the largest leaves (sve remaining leaves for salad). Rinse leaves, wrap in paper towels, and enclose in a plastic bag; chill to crisp, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

In a 1- to 2-quart pan, warm ham in oil over low heat, uncovered, until oil picks up ham flavor, about 10 minutes; let cool.

In a bowl, mix together oil and ham, shrimp, vinegar, and chopped dill; add salt nd pepper to taste. Use, or cover and chill up to 2 day.

To serve, place 1 radicchio leaf in center of 8 salad or dinner plates. Mound shrimp mixture equally into center of each leaf and garnish with dill sprigs. Makes 8 first-course or luncheon salads. Radicchio with Butter Lettuce

3 slices bacon salad oil (optional)

1 tablespoon each red wine vinegar and minced shallots

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cups lightly packed butter lettuce leaves

3 cups lightly packed radicchio leaves

1 medium-size orange; cut off peel and section with a knife, removing all white membrane Salt and pepper Whole chives or long slivers of green onions tops, optional

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon, uncovered, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Lift out and drain; break into 1-inch pieces.

Measure drippings and add enough salad oil, if necessary, to make 3 tablespoons. Return to pan with bacon, vinegar, shallots, and mustard. (If made ahed, cover and chill as long as overnight.)

In a large bowl, mix lettuce and radicchio leaves with orange sections. Heat bacon mixture to simmering and pour over salad. Mix quickly, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Arrange at one end of large serving platter and garnish other end with a spray of chive radiating out from salad. Makes 4 servings.
COPYRIGHT 1984 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Jun 1, 1984
Words:913
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