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Tuesday 19 April 2016

Radicchio - some facts

Pronounce it: rah-dee-chee-o

An Italian relative of chicory, radicchio is a forced crop and has distinctive red and white leaves. The exact nature of its colouring depends upon how much light it has been exposed to when growing - if none at all, the contrast between the white ribs and the deep red leaves will be very strong. If it has seen some light, the white and red will be softened with patches of green or copper.

Shaped like a small cabbage, it's mainly used in salads, and its bitter flavour contrasts well with milder leaves such as rocket. The leaves themselves are tender but the heads are sturdy enough to be cut and grilled.

All year round, and you can try growing your own from seed.

Choose the best:
Look for crisp leaves with no wilting or browning.

Prepare it:
Wash, then break the leaves off the base and leave whole or tear or shred, as desired. If grilling, wash and cut into wedges.

Store it:
Radicchio will last for around a week In a perforated bag in the fridge.

Cook it:
Quarter and grill (2-3 minutes on each side); use in salads; shred and add to creamy pasta sauces.

Try chicory.

Above details about radicchio taken from here

Health benefits of Radicchio:
Radicchio, like other chicory class of vegetables, is very low in calories. 100 g fresh leaves carry just 23 calories.

The bitter principle in the radicchio is lactucopicrin (intybin), a sesquiterpene lactone. Lactucopicrin is a potent anti-malarial agent and has a sedative and analgesic (painkiller) effect.

Its leaves are an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as zea-xanthin, and lutein. 100 grams leaves provide 8832 µg of these pigments. Zea-xanthin is a xanthophyll category of flavonoid carotenoid (yellow pigment) which concentrates mainly in the central part of retina in humans. Together with lutein, it helps protect eyes from age-related macular disease (ARMD) by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays.

Fresh leaves hold moderate amounts of essential B-complex groups of vitamins such as folic acid, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (B3). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

Fresh radicchio is one of the excellent sources of vitamin K. 100 g provides about 255.2 µg or 212% of daily-recommended values. Vitamin K has a potential role in bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Further, adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain. It thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Further, it is also a moderate sources of minerals like manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and potassium. Manganese is used as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium is an important intracellular electrolyte helps counter the hypertension effects of sodium.

The above facts taken from here

May you be buying some radicchio soon?
Do you grow your own?

Their colour and taste can add to your recipe choices ...

All the best Jan


Roan said...

Great information here. I'll be back to read more. My fella is diabetic and need all the help I can get in preparing his meals.

Jo said...

Radicchio is something I've never grown nor knowingly bought, though I suspect there will be some in those ready made up salad bags you buy in supermarkets. I don't buy them often but I have done occasionally.

happyone said...

I've never heard of this before.

Snowbird said...

Sounds marvelous....I simply have to try it now!xxx

Debbie said...

i have eaten this and i am on the fence about the bitter taste. i like a small amount mixed with romaine and butter lettuce. i am a bit like a child when it comes to trying/eating new foods...i love romaine for salads!!!

Adam said...

that sounds radicchilous

Lowcarb team member said...

A warm welcome to the low carb diabetic blog, I am sure you will find lots of information here on the blog to help with your husbands diabetes.
You may also like to look at our humble website:

We also have a humble food and recipe blog here

Take care

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

You said "Radicchio is something I've never grown nor knowingly bought, though I suspect there will be some in those ready made up salad bags you buy in supermarkets". Yes radicchio is a popular leaf that is used in these salad bags ...

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

I don't think radicchio is one of the more commonly used salad leafs, which is a shame.
If you should see it perhaps you may buy some ...

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

I'm sure you will find some in a nearby market or larger supermarket, it is very popular in the ready made salad bags too ...

Happy Eating

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Yes, this is a great leaf that can be enjoyed in smaller quantities. I love mixed leaf salads, they give a variety of taste, colour and good nutrients. A winning combination!

Romaine is good too, and popular with many ...

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

"that sounds radicchilous"
Not only sounds it but tastes it too!!!

Thanks for your comment

All the best Jan