Imagine a red cabbage, but smaller. Its deep purple-red leaves have bright white veins throughout and on the bottom and are smooth and crisp. Uncooked, their flavor is bitter with a slight taste of spice and cooked, their color changes, turning deep brown and the flavor becomes sweeter with reduced bitterness. Ideal heads are firm, crisp, and have full color. Avoid brown or wilted radicchios that have damaged bottoms.
If salad is the route you want to take this veggie, try this interesting dressing that’ll play up the radicchio’s bitterness. You can also use them in any recipe that calls for a radish. You can enjoy them raw, for example, they’d make a good wrap or bowl. They can be sautéed, grilled, and tossed into sauces.
Though they peak between mid-winter and early spring, radicchios grow year-round. Italy produces the most, followed by France. Mexico also produces them, and they grow in California and New Jersey as well.
Store your radicchios unwashed in the fridge’s crisper drawer in a perforated bag. They’ll last up to 10 days. If already cut, you’ll want to place them in an air-tight container or bag for about three days’ worth of use.