Radicchio adds a refreshing, slightly bitter flavor to salads. When it is cooked, it loses some of its bitterness and makes a rich, luscious sauce. The Veneto region of Italy is known for the many varieties of radicchio grown there. The one from Treviso is the radicchio most often used in cooking. It is elongated and shaped a little like Romaine lettuce. The most prized is the one available in late fall called tardivo. It is distinguished by how the tops of its leaves curl in toward the center and by its rich, deep flavor. The most commonly available radicchio in the States is the round one from Chioggia, and it is perfectly fine in this recipe if the one from Treviso is not available.
© 2009 Giuliano Hazan. All rights reserved.