GROW FOOD slow food Have your garden and eat it too. A practical guide to organic gardening in the sub-tropics with step-by-step instructions and delicious seasonal recipes. Come with me too on some of my travels in Australia, Europe, Asia and beyond.
RADICCHIO sometimes known as ITALIAN CHICORY

Family:  ASTERACEAE

Botanical name:  Cichorium intybus

RADICCHIO   This is a valued winter salad green in French and Italian cuisines for its bitter and spicy flavour.  They know that the bitterness aids digestion and is good for you.
THAT IS WHY IT IS OFTEN USED AS AN AFTER DINNER SALAD, mixed with other winter greens like sorrel, wild rocket and mustard greens.
 
HOW TO GROW IT
IT IS EASILY GROWN FROM SEED and planted out in late summer and ready to harvest in early winter.  The colder weather initiates the reddening and heading of the heart – the part you eat.
HOW TO COOK IT THE ITALIAN WAY
The bitter flavour mellows when it is roasted or grilled – which is how I have cooked it here, and it turns a lovely bronze colour.
* Simply toss the washed (dried) quartered hearts, discarding the outer leaves, in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar adding a dash of salt and pepper.  
 *Place in a medium oven 180oC for about 15 minutes.  Serve with a milder meat, like chicken, or great with sausages.
* You can also, once brushed with the marinade, pop them on a hot grill on the barbecue for a couple of minutes. 
 *Fresh, you can also finely shred it and add to pasta and risotto.
GO TO THESE LINKS FOR MORE DELICIOUS WINTER SALADS – full of nutrition, crunch and flavour
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