Our friend Lane Selman, founder of the Culinary Breeding Network, works to connect farmers with cooks and eaters. Her Sicilian roots took her to Italy and inspired the Sagra del Radicchio, a wildly successful celebration of the bitter greens that’s taken place in Seattle the last two years. This year the sagra moves online with a day of video presentations.
Tune in to the RAD TV Youtube channel October 24 for episodes covering the history and culture of chicory growing, how to cook and eat radicchio, and more. Check out Chicory Week’s website for more details.
Radicchio Box Special
Siri Erickson-Brown and Jason Salvo of Local Roots Farm in Duvall, Washington, note that radicchio accounts for 10% of their annual sales; the only vegetables that sell more are carrots and, in the summer, lettuce. Sales of winter vegetables like radicchio help keep small farms like theirs in business. Local Roots and other chicory farms are offering a radicchio box special for the Sagra. It includes an assortment of chicories, which last for weeks in the refrigerator, recipes, and more. Order here, and pick up at Real Good Food if you’re in Portland.
RADICCHIO WITH APPLE & ROASTED FENNEL
Most of us only know radicchio as the round, reddish-purple, lettuce-like vegetable, usually grown in California. But local farmers grow several different varieties of this winter vegetable with Italian roots and an intriguing bitter flavor. The Pacific Northwest shares climate and latitude characteristics with northeastern Italy where radicchio thrives, and the colorful member of the chicory family offers the region’s eaters a better-tasting alternative to out of season lettuce grown farther south.
While the Italians often cook their chicories, radicchio salads are more common around here. Chefs use a few tricks to temper the bitter flavor. Cutting the leaves and soaking in ice water for at least 30 minutes is standard practice, but using sweet and rich ingredients also helps.
We used two radicchios, a combination of deep red Treviso and the pale green, purple-flecked Castelfranco, but any variety will work. Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces and put them in a bowl of ice water.
While they’re soaking, roast a fennel bulb, toast some walnuts, slice an apple, and, if you can find one, pick the seeds from a pomegranate.
Stir together Katz Sparkling WIne vinegar and Just Syrup pomegranate molasses, then add olive oil. Drain and dry the radicchio, combine it with the other ingredients, and toss with the dressing.
The Pork Box from Piccone’s Corner is returning to RGF on October 30th. Get cozy at home with the best pork we’ve ever tasted. An assortment of sausages, roasts, chops, ground meat, and other cuts from their pasture-raised pigs.
Each week we put together a different selection of ingredients aimed at growing your pantry and palate. This weekly rotating subscription box introduces you to our favorite farmers and producers, and the ingredients are part of the recipe we include. Recent Fresh Boxes have included Umi Organic Ramen Noodles and dumplings from our friends at Han Oak.