raddichio help

I am making a salad with arugula and raddichio. Is it more appropriate to tear off each raddichio leaf and serve it whole, or slice the raddichio in thin strips similar to a cabbage? I do not want the bitter taste to be too overpowering, but I want to make sure I treat the leaves properly.

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12 Comments

KvellintheKitchen October 22, 2013
Thanks everyone!! I ended up using 1 small head of torn raddichio, 1 bag of arugula, and a few leaves of romaine tossed in a citrusy orange-champagne vinaigrette with wheat berries, scallions and feta. The result was a perfect balance of acidic and bitter. Recipe TK soon!
 
petitbleu October 21, 2013
I agree with vvvanessa--cut heads of radicchio into quarters and soak them in cold water for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and shred like cabbage. I think radicchio goes really well with arugula and shredded kale, radish coins, and shaved fennel. Serve with a nice garlicky dressing--the assertive flavors of the greens can stand up to a well-flavored dressing.
 
Jason W. October 21, 2013
agreed. I chiffonade the radicchio for salads and dress ahead of time. this works well with kale too. I usually only leave the radicchio leaves whole if I braising them.
 
SMSF October 16, 2013
Pizzeria Delfina here in San Francisco serves one of my all-time favorites: Insalata Tricolore. It has radicchio, endive, and arugula lined up in 3 piles on a plate, like the Italian flag. They do the radicchio and endive in strips. Dressed with lemon vinaigrette and, I believe, grana padano. The greens work beautifully together and it's very pretty, too!
 
Nancy H. October 16, 2013
Here in Italy we usually sliver the radicchio in fine slices and dress it a bit ahead of serving with excellent olive oil and a few drops of good wine vinegar, plus salt of course. Both techniques--slivering and dressing in advance--help to cut down on bitterness. Autumn is a great time for these bitter salads--but I also wanted to mention a magnificent risotto I had a couple of years ago up near Verona that was made with locally grown (and famous) radicchio, equally slivered. Just a delicious combination.
 
amysarah October 16, 2013
That sounds great and reminds me of a pasta I ate years ago in Vicenza (not far from Treviso.) I don't recall exactly what it was called, but it was a sort of lasagna, with just a couple of layers, including slivered radicchio. Very rich and delicious.
 
vvvanessa October 15, 2013
One way to temper the bitterness of the radicchio is to soak it in an ice bath for about 30 minutes, then drain and dry it well.
 
pierino October 15, 2013
Radicchio and arugala probably don't want to be on the some plate. I use radicchio combined with another less assertive green such as romaine. It's frustrating to me as a cook that Americans tend to reject bitter tastes. I was working a cooking job a few years ago and was disheartened by the fact that the radicchio was coming back to the kitchen barely touched. Drives me nuts!
 
Maedl October 22, 2013
I read your comment, Pierino, while I was in Bologna, just before I went out to dinner. I had a fine meal, which I ended with insalata mista--which was, you guessed it, arugula and radicchio. It turned out to taste quite good--and the color combination was gorgeous. I also wanted to add that if you think Americans are a hard sell on bitter flavors, you should see how resistant Germans are to bitter! Italy is so close to where I live, but it’s like pulling teeth to get rapini, cavolo nero, cicchoria, etc. in my town. Several years ago in a fit of frustration, I asked one of the green grocers what people ate for vegetables here. I got a one-word answer: Kraut.
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 15, 2013
I like to trim the radicchio and cut or tear it into shreds or bite-size pieces. You have two assertive greens, will you offset with a sweet dressing?
 
EmilyC October 15, 2013
I like to roughly tear the leaves into 1 to 2 inch pieces rather than shred them. Here's a pic of a radicchio salad that I like to make for reference. http://food52.com/recipes/18974-an-autumn-salad
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 15, 2013
Your salad looks delicious, btw...
 
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