Oreon Wade

The History

Pliny the Elder claimed radicchio was useful as a blood purifier and an aid for insomniacs in Naturalis Historia. In fact, radicchio contains intybin, a sedative/analgesic, as well as a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin which is used for making dye-sensitized solar cells.

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories 9
  • Total Fat 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Sodium 9 mg
  • Potassium 121 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 1.8 g
  • Protein 0.6 g
  • Vitamin C 5%

How to Store and Select

How to choose: Look for firm, even hard, heads with vivid colors. If there are signs of darkening, that's usually an indicator that the radicchio has been stored too long.

How to store: Keep radicchio refrigerated in a tightly sealed plastic bag. It'll last at least a week.

How to Prepare

How to prepare: Round heads can be torn and used the same as any other salad green. (Radicchio is especially nice finished with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.) The longer heads tend to be more bitter, but they turn almost caramel sweet when grilled until soft and dressed with olive oil and vinegar.


Roasted Balsamic Radicchio Recipe

2 large heads of radicchio (about 1 pound total), halved through core end, each half cut into 3 wedges with some core still attached

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Balsamic vinegar (for drizzling)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Rinse radicchio wedges in cold water; gently shake off excess water (do not dry completely). Place radicchio in large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.

Arrange radicchio wedges, 1 cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until wilted, about 12 minutes. Turn over and roast until tender, about 8 minutes longer.

Arrange radicchio on platter, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve.

Perfectly Grilled Radicchio

4 heads radicchio
12 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 pound mozzarella, cut into 16 pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the radicchio in quarters lengthwise, being sure to keep some of the stem attached to each quarter. Trim off any dark bits of stem. Submerge the radicchio quarters in ice water for 1 hour to remove some bitterness. Put a plate on top of the radicchio to keep them under water.
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except the mozzarella. Mix well.
Prepare a hot fire in your grill, or heat a cast iron grill pan over medium-high heat.
Drain the radicchio and place them on paper towels to absorb remaining water. Open up the leaves and spoon the olive oil mixture inside. Place the radicchio quarters on a baking sheet and pour the remaining marinade mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper.
When the radicchio begins to brown, pull from the grill, open up a section of each portion and place a slice of mozzarella inside. Place quarters back onto the sheet pan and place the pan directly on the grill for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Drizzle any leftover dressing over the top of the grilled radicchio and serve warm.


  • Radicchio is high in antioxidants that boost overall health, wellness and energy.
  • Radicchio promotes weight loss by virtue of its high fiber that makes one full and keeps one satiated for longer.


  • Radicchio is great raw in salads, either on its own or mixed with greens.
  • Cooking softens the bitter edge of radicchio and brings out the bit of sweetness held way deep down in those leaves.