It actually gets redder with the cold.
Like Cinderella in her finery, the radicchio looks frilly and magnificent in the greenhouse. Like Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters, I rip the frills right off the plants, usually from the outside train in. A few leaves per salad is a gorgeous addition.
Hairy beauty: Started from seed in late August, these plants were transplanted to the greenhouse in mid-October
Radicchio: it’s a chickory, and as such, it hasn’t been fully tamed by us humans. It cross pollinates easily with any wild chickories around (those blue-flowered ditch weeds seen commonly in the Midwestern midsummer), and even if its flowers are fully protected, it will often not come “true” just to spite you. I grow two types of radicchio: the heading or ball type and the more upstanding romaine type (Treviso). In the greenhouse, Treviso has a habit of getting freezer burn and then rotting from the top down, but the ball type remains pretty and edible throughout the winter. I save Treviso for our summer salads. It’s also great on the grill.
My favorite way to eat radicchio? Atop a pizza!
I just love the mix of colors found on just one plant. It’s nearly white at the base of the leaves.