Sunday, June 20, 2010

More red food

Maybe it's something to do with keeping warm, but I am loving the bitter warmth of winter veggies at the moment -- like those strong green rocket leaves we're plucking from the garden a few times a week. Or radicchio.

Where radicchio runs free (briefly, pursued by eager Italian cooks)

I never used to like radicchio. It wasn't until we went to Treviso and saw its jewel colours there, and when I started reading about all the shapes and types of radicchio, well, I got curious.

As luck would have it, it's prime season for them now, and we've had a few of the firm bullet-shaped radicchio trevisano in the last few weeks.

Look, it's just like the picture!

I had it in a lunch salad, with sweet dollops of soft goat's cheese, some halved grapes, and a gentle vinaigrette.

Hmm, it goes well with sweet things. My books say olive oil, definitely a lover of oil and some salt. So the first time I used it, that's what we had: salad of beautiful leaves, crisp but well-coated in olive oil and with little bits of goat's cheese snuggled into the pockets formed by the leaves. I sliced some of it finely, sauted briefly (I think with a shallot?) and we had that on top of sweet lamb chops. Yum. We might have it that way again tonight. Bring the red wine.

So as for red foods, this one pops nicely between the beetroot dip and the pomegranates. (I made a batch of muffins today, with oatmeal, brown sugar, marsala-soaked raisins and pomegranate seeds. Mmm.) Now how do I get my fingertips back to a normal colour?

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