Radicchio is that beautiful and eye-catching vegetable that makes the joy of every photographer when strolling at any Farmers’ Market in Italy. You’ll see it from now, until the beginning of March. I helps replenish our diets with the needed vitamins (A & B), and minerals. It is pronounced raˈdikkjo.
Radicchio is the result of skillful selections and practices that over time have transformed wild herbs into highly versatile vegetables. Among the most famous ones, it is worth mentioning the red of Treviso IGP, the radicchio of Chioggia and Verona IGP, the variegated radicchio of Castelfranco IGP.
Radicchio can even be bought online from a beautiful site called “The Flower of Health”
The flavor of the radicchio must be pleasantly bitter and the crunchiness and the very particular note of bitterness, which changes with each bite, always give different sensations. Aside of course use in salads, it goes well with fresh and aged cheeses accompanied by a drizzle of honey and some walnuts.
I confess that I am not fond of bitter leaves on my plate, but Radicchio is only bitter when raw. Cooked is very good instead. Since I could not make myself buy radicchio just for photography I had to use it profitably, and Risotto was the solution. Radicchio is excellent in risotto.
Perfect Risotto a Few Points
– For a great Risotto you need a good broth. That’s the rule No. 1!
– Use the whisk instead of a wooden spoon!
– In my tireless search for the perfect Risotto, I came across this new method already a few times; The greatest Italian Chefs recommend sauteed the onion on the side and add it after the rice has been properly coated with the oil, and after adding the wine.
– Some suggested sauteed the onion in a microwave. Clearly a practical solution.
– The wine must be refrigerator-cold when adding it.
– Moreover—and this is a suggestion that I like—blend the sauteed onion before adding it to the risotto. I’ m still a bit fussy about my eating and not having small bits of onions is a plus for me. It should be added right after the wine is absorbed.
– Half way add butter to make it creamier. In the case of Risotto with Radicchio, it is best to sautee the vegetables with the onions, until tender, then blend everything before adding it to the risotto.
The result is a creamier Risotto with a uniform dark pink/red color. A sprinkle of Parmesan never hurts. It should always be served on a deep dish, never on a flat one.
Risotto with Radicchio
- 250 g of Carnaroli rice
- 200 g of early red Treviso radicchio
- 1 shallot
- a tablespoon of EVO
- 30 g of butter
- ½ glass of dry white wine
- 40 g of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 liter of vegetable broth
- White pepper
Whether to make Risotto with Radicchio or with any other vegetable, or the simple way, the above methods work best for me. I found that the onion played a more discreet role, and it was creamier than ever.