Several legends tell us that radicchio that stylish chicory from the Veneto in northern Italy owed its beginning to mysterious birds dropping seeds on open fields. Another legend says that local friars gathered the seeds from plants growing wild along the roadsides. Whatever the case, this leafy vegetable grows round like a cabbage or tapered like endive and both types have white veining against their wine colored leaves. Its flavor is best in the fall and is one of those garden vegetables that can hang on until the first frost. Radicchio, like most chicories, has a slightly bitter taste, which adds to its charm and the fact that it marries very well in flavor with sweeter tasting foods like oranges and pears.
Its classic use is raw, mixed with other greens for salad but it is equally delicious shredded and added to risotto or baked in a white sauce with mushrooms or cut into wedges, grilled and drizzled with olive oil. Radicchio isn’t just for salads anymore.
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt or to taste
- Coarse black pepper to taste
- 1 small fennel bulb, washed, dried and thinly sliced
- 1 small head radicchio, washed, dried and torn into pieces
- 2 large blood or navel oranges, peeled, segmented, and cut in half
- Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat just until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer the nuts to small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper in a jar. Set aside. Toss the fennel, radicchio and oranges in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve.
This recipe was featured on Season 23 - Episode 2303.
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